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LI B R.AFLY 
OF THL 

UNIVERSITY 

or ILLI NOIS 



cop 



.*5 



HIST. SURVEY 



DR. BEECHER'S 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 



BY LYMAN BEECHER, D. D. 



Second Edition. 



CINCINNATI : 
PUBLISHED BY TRUMAN & SMITH 

NEW- YORK : 

LEAVITT, LORD & CO. 
1835. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1835, 

BY TRUMAN & SMITH, 
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Ohio. 







ADVERTISEMENT. 

THE within is a discourse recently delivered by 
the writer in several of the Atlantic cities, while 
on an agency for the Cincinnati Lane Seminary. 
Those who heard it will perceive that it is as it 
was delivered, with a little enlargement on a few 
points which demand a more ample illustration. 
Cincinnati, 1835. 



1* 



A PLEA FOR THE WEST. 



Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such 
things 1 Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day! 
or shall a nation be born at once 1 for as soon as Zion tra- 
vailed, she brought forth her children. ISAIAH Ixvi, 8. 

EVER since the era of modern mis- 
sions, sceptical men have ridiculed the 
efforts of the church to evangelize the 
world, and predicted their failure. 
" What," say they, " do these Jews 
build 7 if a fox do but go up upon the 
wall, it will fall. The world can never 
be converted to Christianity by the 
power of man." And full well do we 
know it, and most deeply do we feel 
it, and in all our supplications for aid, 



8 DR. BEECHER'S 

most emphatically do we confess our 
utter impotency ; and could no power 
but the power of man be enlisted, it 
would be indeed of all experiments the 
most ridiculous and hopeless. But be- 
cause man cannot convert the world to 
Christianity, cannot God do it ? Has he 
not promised to do it, and selected his 
instruments, and commanded his people 
to be fellow workers with him 7 And 
hath he said, and shall he not do it 1 

Instead of its being a work of diffi- 
culty and dilatory movement, when the 
time to favor Zion comes, it shall outrun 
all past analogies of moral causes, as if 
seed-time and harvest should meet on 
the same field, or a nation should in- 
stantly rush up from barbarism to civi- 
lization. 

But as all great eras of prosperity to 
the church have been aided by the civil 
condition of the world, and accomplished 
by the regular operation of moral causes, 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 9 

I consider the text as a prediction of the 
rapid and universal extension of civil 
and religious liberty, introductory to 
the triumphs of universal Christianity. 
It is certain that the glorious things 
spoken of the church and of the world, 
as affected by her prosperity, cannot 
come to pass under the existing civil 
organization of the nations. Such a 
state of society as is predicted to per- 
vade the earth, cannot exist under an 
arbitrary despotism, and the predomi- 
nance of feudal institutions and usa- 
ges. Of course, it is predicted that 
revolutions and distress of nations will 
precede the introduction of the peace- 
ful reign of Jesus Christ on the earth. 
The mountains shall be cast down, and 
the valleys shall be exalted and he 
shall " overturn, and overturn, and over- 
turn, till he whose right it is, shall 
reign King of nations King of saints." 
It was the opinion of Edwards, that 



10 DR. BEECHER'S 

the millenium would commence in 
America. When I first encountered 
this opinion, I thought it chimerical ; 
but all providential developments since, 
and all the existing signs of the times, 
lend corroboration to it. But if it is by 
the march of revolution and civil liber- 
ty, that the way of the Lord is to be 
prepared, w r here shall the central 
energy be found, and from what nation 
shall the renovating power go forth 1 
What nation is blessed with such ex- 
perimental knowledge of free institu- 
tions, with such facilities and resources 
of communication, obstructed by so few 
obstacles, as our own ? There is not 
a nation upon earth which, in fifty 
years, can by all possible reformation 
place itself in circumstances so favora- 
ble as our own for the free, unembarras- 
sed applications of physical effort and 
pecuniary and moral power to evange- 
lize the world. 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 11 

But if this nation is, in the provi- 
dence of God, destined to lead the way 
in the moral and political emancipation 
of the world, it is time she understood 
her high calling, and were harnessed 
for the work. For mighty causes, like 
floods from distant mountains, are rush- 
ing with accumulating power, to their 
consummation of good or evil, and soon 
our character and destiny will be ste- 
reotyped forever. 

It is equally plain that the religious 
and political destiny of our nation is to 
be decided in the West. There is the 
territory, and there soon will be the 
population, the wealth, and the politi- 
cal power. The Atlantic commerce 
and manufactures may confer always 
some peculiar advantages on the East. 
But the West is destined to be the great 
central power of the nation, and under 
heaven, must affect powerfully the 



12 DR. BEECHER'S 

cause of free institutions and the liberty 
of the world. 

The West is a young empire of 
mind, and power, and wealth, and free 
institutions, rushing up to a giant man- 
hood, with a rapidity and a power never 
before witnessed below the sun. And 
if she carries with her the elements of 
her preservation, the experiment will be 
glorious the joy of the nation the 
joy of the whole earth, as she rises in 
the majesty of her intelligence and be- 
nevolence, and enterprise, for the eman- 
cipation of the world. 

It is equally clear, that the conflict 
which is to decide the destiny of the 
West, will be a conflict of institutions 
for the education of her sons, for pur- 
poses of superstition, or evangelical 
light ; of despotism, or liberty. 

I propose to consider in this dis- 
course- 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 13 

I. What is required to secure the 
civil and religious prosperity of the 
West. 

II. By whom it must be done. 

III. How it must be done. And 

IV. The motive to do it. 

1. The thing required for the civil 
and religious prosperity of the West, is 
universal education, and moral culture, 
by institutions commensurate to that 
result the all-pervading influence of 
schools, and colleges, and seminaries, 
and pastors, and churches. When the 
West is well supplied in this respect, 
though there may be great relative de- 
fects, there will be, as we believe, the 
stamina and the vitality of a perpetual 
civil and religious prosperity. 

2. By whom shall the work of rearing 
the literary and religious institutions of 
the West be done 7 

Not by the West alone. 
The West is able to do this great work 
2 



14 DR. BEECHER'S 

for herself, and would do it, provided 
the exigencies of her condition allowed 
to her the requisite time. The subject of 
education is no where more appreciated ; 
and no people in the same time ever 
performed so great a work as has alrea- 
dy been performed in the West. Such 
an extent of forest never fell before the 
arm of man in forty years, and gave 
place, as by enchantment, to such an 
empire of cities, and towns, and villages? 
and agriculture, and merchandise, and 
manufactures, and roads, and rapid navi- 
gation, and schools, and colleges, and 
libraries, and literary enterprise, with 
such a number of pastors and churches, 
and such a relative amount of religious 
influence, as has been produced by the 
spontaneous effort of the religious de- 
nominations of the West. The later 
peopled states of New-England did by 
no means come as rapidly to the same 
state of relative, intellectual and moral 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 15 

culture as many portions of the West 
have already arrived at, in the short 
period of forty, thirty, and even twenty 
years. 

But this work of self-supply is not 
completed, and by no human possibility 
could have been completed by the West, 
in her past condition. 

No people ever did, in the first gene- 
ration, fell the forest, and construct the 
roads, and rear the dwellings and public 
edifices, and provide the competent sup- 
ply of schools and literary institutions. 
New-England did not. Her colleges 
were endowed extensively by foreign 
munificence, and her churches of the 
first generation were supplied chiefly 
from the mother country ; and yet the 
colonists, of New-England were few in 
number, compact in territory, homoge- 
neous in origin, language, manners, and 
doctrines ; and were coerced to unity 
by common perils and necessities ; and 



16 DR. BEECHER'S 

could be acted upon by immediate legis- 
lation; and could wait also for their 
institutions to grow with their growth 
and strengthen with their strength. But 
the population of the great West is not 
so, but is assembled from all the states 
of the Union, and from all the nations 
of Europe, and is rushing in like the wa- 
ters of the flood, demanding for its moral 
preservation the immediate and univer- 
sal action of those institutions which 
discipline the mind, and arm the con- 
science and the heart. And so various 
are the opinions and habits, and so re- 
cent and imperfect is the acquaintance, 
and so sparse are the settlements of the 
West, that no homogeneous public sen- 
timent can be formed to legislate imme- 
diately into being the requisite institu- 
tions. And yet they are all needed im- 
mediately, in their utmost perfection and 
power. A nation is being " born in a 
day," and all the nurture of schools and 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 17 

literary institutions is needed, constantly 
and universally, to rear it up to a glori- 
ous and unperverted manhood. 

It is no implication of the West, that 
in a single generation, she has not com- 
pleted this work. In the circumstances 
of her condition she could not do it ; and 
had it been done, we should believe that 
a miraculous, and not a human power 
had done it. 

Who then, shall co-operate with our 
brethren of the West, for the consumma- 
tion of this work so auspiciously begun ? 
Shall the South be invoked ? The South 
have difficulties of their own to encoun- 
ter, and cannot do it ; and the middle 
states have too much of the same Work 
yet to do, to volunteer their aid abroad. 

Whence, then, shall the aid come, 
but from those portions of the Union 
where the work of rearing these institu- 
tions has been most nearly accomplish- 
ed, and their blessings most eminently 
2* 



18 DR. BEECHER'S 

enjoyed 1 And by whom, but by those 
who in their infancy were aided ; and 
who, having freely received, are now 
called upon freely to give, and who, by 
a hard soil and habits of industry and 
economy, and by experience are quali- 
fied to endure hardness as good soldiers 
and pioneers in this great work 7 And 
be assured that those who go to the 
West with unostentatious benevolence, 
to identify themselves with the people 
and interests of that vast community, 
will be adopted with a warm heart and 
an unwavering right hand of fellowship. 

But how shall this aid be extended 
to our brethren of the West in the man- 
ner most acceptable and efficacious 1 

Not by prayers and supplications 
omy, nor by charities alone, nor by colo- 
nial emigrations ; for these, though they 
might cultivate their own garden, would 
for obvious reasons be fenced in, and 
exert but a feeble general influence be- 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. liJ 

yond their own inclosures. Those who 
go out to do good at the West should go 
out to mingle with the people of the 
West, and be absorbed in their multi- 
tude, as rain drops fall on the bosom of 
the ocean and mingle with that world 
of waters.* 

* I am happy, since my return, to find myself so 
ably sustained in this opinion by my friend Judge 
Hall, late of Illinois, whose long residence at the 
West, and extensive opportunities for observation, 
entitle his opinions on this subject to great respect. 
In the Illinois Monthly onjf831, speaking of emigra- 
tion, he says : 

" We have heard lately of several colonies which 
have been formed in the eastern states, for the pur- 
pose of emigrating to Illinois ; and we always hear 
such information with regret. Not that we have any 
objection to emigration in itself; on the contrary, 
few have done more than we, to encpurage and pro- 
mote it. We ardently long to see the fertile plains 
of Illinois covered with an industrious, an enterpri- 
sing, and an intelligent population ; we shall always 
be among the first to welcome the farmer, the me- 
chanic, the school teacher the working man, in 
short, of any trade, mystery, or profession and we 



20 DR. BEECHER'S 

Nor is it by tracts, or Bibles, or 
itinerating missions, that the requisite 
intellectual and moral power can be 
applied. There must be permanent, 
powerful, literary and moral institutions, 
which, like the great orbs of attraction 
and light, shall send forth at once their 
power and their illumination, and with- 
out them all else will be inconstant 
and ephemeral.* Let it not, however, 

care not from what point of the compass he may 
come ; but wish to see them come to Illinois, with a 
manly confidence in us, and 'with the feelings, not of 
New-Englanders, or Pennsylvanians, but of Ameri- 
cans." 

* In confirmation of these views, it gives me 
pleasure to refer again to Judge Hall, in his warm 
hearted eulogy on the friends of the Redeemer in an 
eastern state, for their benevolent enterprise and 
munificence in aiding in the establishment of female 
schools and Sabbath schools in the state of Illinois. 
It is contained in a letter to the editor of the Sab- 
bath School Treasury of 1831. 

" I am happy to say to you, that the persons who 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 21 

for a moment be supposed, that the 
schools of the West are to be sustained 

have been induced by your representations to re- 
move to Illinois, are generally well pleased, and are 
doing well. The best schools that we have now in 
Illinois, are those established by the young ladies 
who came out for that purpose. The school at Ed- 
wardsville, conducted by two young ladies, is very 
popular, and deservedly so. The Vandalia school 
commenced with five scholars, a month ago, and has 
now thirty -two, which, for a female school in this 

quarter, is quite encouraging. Miss L is doing 

very well, and is said to be very useful at Carrollton. 

Miss S has gone to Hillsborough, to keep an 

infant school. There will be several other female 
schools established shortly. 

" We owe a debt of gratitude to the friends of the 
Redeemer in Massachusetts, for their great liberality 
in providing us with Sabbath school books, which 
we shall not for many years be able to repay. The 
day will assuredly come, however, when the doings 
of the present generation of Christians will be looked 
back to with feelings of admiration and gratitude, 
and when Illinois will remember Massachusetts as a 
benefactor. ' He is ever merciful and lendeth,' is 
the language used in Scripture to describe a good 



22 DR. BEECHER'S 

by the emigration of an army of instruc- 
tors from the East. For though for the 
present necessity, the aid of qualified in- 

man; and surely if .the lending, or giving, our 
money or goods to another is praiseworthy, it is still 
more so to bestow intellectual riches, and the means 
of Christian instruction. For my part, I feel grate- 
ful, and am glad to have the opportunity of saying 
so to you. 

" Multitudes have assented to the proposition, that 
Sabbath schools are among the most efficient means 
of grace ; and other multitudes recognize in them 
valuable instruments for the dissemination of know- 
ledge and morality but we are totally destitute of 
the facilities for setting such persons in motion. We 
need, especially, TEACHERS and BOOKS. The latter I 
consider as most imperiously and immediately requi- 
site, because the former may, in some places, be 
supplied, while for the books we must at all events 
be indebted to you, or to other of the friends of hu- 
manity. * * * We are also greatly in want of teach- 
ers, and give to this part of your plan our cordial 
approbation. Pious persons coming out with this 
intention, and having callings to support them, need 
be under no fear, if frugal and industrious, of doing 
well." 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 23 

structors is not to be repelled, but invi- 
ted ; yet for any permanent reliance, it 
is but a drop of the bucket to the ocean. 

Nothing is more certain, than that 
the great body of the teachers of the 
West must be educated at the West. It 
is by her own sons chiefly, that the great 
work is to be consummated which her 
civil, and literary, and religious prospe- 
rity demands. 

But how shall the requisite supply 
of teachers for the sons and daughters 
of the West be raised up 1 It can be 
accomplished by the instrumentality of 
a learned and pious ministry, educated 
at the West. 

Experience has evinced, that schools 
and popular education, in their best 
estate, go not far beyond the suburbs of 
the city of God. All attempts to legis- 
late prosperous colleges and schools into 
being without the intervening influence 
of religious education and moral prin- 



24 DR. BEECHER'S 

ciple, and habits of intellectual culture 
which spring up in alliance with evan- 
gelical institutions, have failed. Schools 
wane, invariably, in those towns where 
the evangelical ministry is neglected, 
and the Sabbath is profaned, and the 
tavern supplants the worship of God. 
Thrift and knowledge in such places go 
out, while vice and irreligion come in. 

But the ministry is a central lumina- 
ry in each sphere, and soon sends out 
schools and seminaries as its satellites 
by the hands of sons and daughters of 
its own training. A land supplied with 
able and faithful ministers, will of course 
be filled with schools, academies, libra- 
ries, colleges, and all the apparatus for 
the perpetuity of republican institutions. 
It always has been so it always will be. 

But the ministry for the West must 
be educated at the West. The demands 
on the East, for herself and for pagan 
lands, forbid the East ever to supply our 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 25 

wants. Nor is it necessary. For the 
Spirit of God is with the churches of the 
West, and pious and talented young 
men are there in great numbers, willing, 
desiring, impatient to consecrate them- 
selves to the glorious work. If we pos- 
sessed the accommodations and the 
funds, we might easily send out a hun- 
dred ministers a year a thousand mi- 
nisters in ten years around each of 
whom schools would arise, and instruc- 
tors multiply, and churches spring up, 
and revivals extend, and all the ele- 
ments of civil and religious prosperity 
abound. 

But we have said that the ministry 
for the West must be a learned and 
talented ministry. 

No opinion is more false and fatal 
than that mediocrity of talent and learn- 
ing will suffice for the West. That if ,a 
minister is a good sort of a man, but 
somehow does not seem to be popular, 
3 



26 DR. BEECHEfc'S 

and find employment, he had better go 
to the West. No ; let him stay at home ; 
and if among the urgent demands for 
ministerial labor here, he cannot find 
employment, let him conclude that he 
has mistaken his profession. 

But let him not go to the West. 
The men who, somehow, do not succeed 
at the East, are the very men who 
will succeed still less at the West. If 
there be in the new settlements at the 
West a lack of schools and educated 
mind, there is no lack of shrewd and 
vigorous mind ; and if they are not 
deep read in Latin and Greek, they are 
well read in men and things. On their 
vast rivers, they go every where, and 
see every body, and know every thing, 
and judge with the tact of perspicacious 
common sense. They are disciplined 
to resolution and mental vigor by toils 
and perils, and enterprises ; and often 
they are called to attend as umpires to 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 27 

the earnest discussions of their most 
able and eloquent men, which cannot 
fail to throw prosing dullness in the 
ministry to a hopeless distance. No 
where, if a minister is deficient, will 
he be more sure to be " weighed in the 
balance and found wanting." On the 
contrary, there is not a place on earth 
where piety, and talent, and learning, 
and argument, and popular eloquence 
are more highly appreciated, or re- 
warded with a more frank and enthu- 
siastic admiration. There are chords 
in the heart of the West which vibrate 
to the touch of genius, and to the power 
of argumentative eloquence, with a 
sensibility and enthusiasm no where 
surpassed.* A hundred ministers of 

* The following is an extract from a letter which 
the author wrote to a friend of Professor Stowe, 
more than a year before this sermon was prepared, 
which shows his views at that time : 

" All your reasoning in favor of Professor Stowe 's 



28 DR. BEECHER'S 

cultivated mind and popular eloquence 
might find settlement in an hundred 
places, and without the aid of missions, 
and only to increase the demand for an 
hundred more. 

Most unquestionably the West de- 
mands the instrumentality of the first 
order of minds in the ministry, and 
thoroughly furnished minds, to com- 
mand attention, enlighten the under- 
standing, form the conscience, and gain 

better adaptation for New-England than for the 
West is founded in a great and injurious mistake 
concerning the character and condition of the 
West. It is a mistake, that the talents and ac- 
quirements of Mr. S. would not be as highly and as 
justly appreciated here as in New-England. A full 
proportion of the minds that are filling up the new 
states of the West, are of the first order of intel- 
lectual vigor, and often of taste and learning, and 
intellectual action ; and a large portion of the peo- 
ple who are not educated, are persons of shrewd 
tnind, and quick discernment to perceive the empty 
pretensions of men to learning and talents, and will 
respond respectfully, yea, gladly, to the touch of 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 3 

the heart, and bring into religious or- 
ganization and order the uncommitted 
mind and families of the great world ; 
and many a man who might guide 
respectfully a well-organized congrega- 
tion here of homogeneous character, 
and moving onward under the impetus 
of long continued habits, might fail 
utterly to call around him the popula- 
tion of a new country. 

Of course, the institutions which are 
to lead in this great work of rearing the 

real talent. But Ohio is not a frontier state, or 
Cincinnati a new settlement, or the work demanded 
here that of a pioneer. On the contrary, Cincin- 
nati is as really a literary emporium as Boston, and 
is rapidly rising to an honorable competition. In- 
deed, at the present time, I firmly believe that 
there is, according to the number of her inhabi- 
tants, as much intellectual and literary activity here 
as in Boston, constituting an atmosphere which he 
would breathe with great pleasure, and in which 
his literary attainments would not pass undiscovered 
or unappreciated." 

3* 



30 DR. EEECHER'S 

future ministry of the West should be 
second to none in their endowments 
and adaptation to this end. For it is 
such a work in magnitude as human 
instrumentality was never before con- 
centrated upon. All other nations have 
gone up slowly from semi-barbarism to 
a civilized manhood, while our nation 
was commenced with the best materi- 
als of a nation at that time the most 
favored nation in the world, and yet 
was delayed in its growth, through two 
centuries, by policy, and power, and 
war, and taxation, and want of capital. 
It is less than fifty years since our re- 
sources have begun to be developed in 
great power, and we have entered upon 
the career of internal improvement and 
national greatness ; and at the East, 
until recently, these movements were 
slow, as capital gradually increased, 
and agriculture, and commerce, and 
art led the way. But the West is fill- 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 



31 



ing up as by ocean waves ; and such is 
her prospective greatness, that the 
capital of the East and of Europe hold 
competition for her acceptance and use, 
so that in a day, she is rising up to the 
high eminence that all other nations 
have approached progressively through 
the revolution of centuries. 

But what will become of the West, 
if her prosperity rushes up to such a 
majesty of power, while those great 
institutions linger which are necessary 
to form the mind, and the conscience, 
and the heart of that vast world. It 
must not be permitted. And yet what 
is done must be done quickly; for pop- 
ulation will not wait, and commerce 
will not cast anchor, and manufactures 
will not shut off the steam nor shut 
down the gate, and agriculture, pushed 
by millions of freemen on their fertile 
soil, will not withhold her corrupting 
abundance. 

We must educate ! We must edu- 



32 

cate ! or we must perish by our own 
prosperity. If we do not, short from 
the cradle to the grave will be our 
race. If in our haste to be rich and 
mighty, we outrun our literary and 
religious institutions, they will never 
overtake us ; or only come up after 
the battle of liberty is fought and lost, 
as spoils to grace the victory, and as 
resources of inexorable despotism for 
the perpetuity of our bondage. And 
let no man at the East quiet himself, 
and dream of liberty, whatever may 
become of the West. Our alliance of 
blood, and political institutions, and 
common interests, is such, that we can- 
not stand aloof in the hour of her cala- 
mity, should it ever come. Her destiny 
is our destiny ; and the day that her 
gallant ship goes down, our little boat 
sinks in the vortex ! . 

It was to meet these exigences of 
our common country in the West, that 
the Lane Seminary was called into 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 33 

being by the munificence of the sons of 
the West ; first by a donation from the 
two gentlemen whose name it bears, 
followed by the gift of sixty acres of 
land, on which the institution is located, 
by Mr. Elnathan Kemper, and the sale 
of fifty more at a reduced price and 
long credit by the same benefactor ; to 
which have been added fifteen thou- 
sand dollars by the citizens of Cincin- 
nati and the West, for the construction 
of two college buildings and two pro- 
fessors' houses. To this has been ad- 
ded by our friends on this side of the 
mountains, twenty thousand dollars 
from one individual, for the endowment 
of the professorship of Theology ; and 
by others, thirty thousand, for the en- 
dowment of the two professorships of 
Biblical Literature and Ecclesiastical 
History. 

What we now need is a chapel for 
the accommodation of students and a 



34 DR. EEECHER'S 

fast increasing community with a place 
of worship ; the endowment of a pro- 
fessorship of Sacred Rhetoric, and a 
library. For the first, we have dared 
to rely on our friends in Boston and its 
vicinity. The library we hope to re- 
ceive from our friends in New- York; 
and for the Professorship of Sacred 
Rhetoric we look up, hoping and be- 
lieving that God will put into the 
heart of one or more individuals to 
endow it. 

The motives which call on us to 
co-operate immediately in this glorious 
work of consummating the institutions 
of the West, essential to the perpetuity 
of her greatness and glory, are neither 
few, nor feeble, nor obscure. 

The territory is eight thousand miles 
in circumference, extending from the 
Alleghany to the Rocky mountains, and 
from the Gulf of Mexico to the Lakes 
of the North ; and it is the largest ter- 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 35 

ritory, and most beneficent in climate, 
and soil, and mineral wealth, and com- 
mercial facilities, ever prepared for the 
habitation of man, and qualified to sus- 
tain in prosperity and happiness the 
densest population on the globe. By 
twenty-four thousand miles of steam 
navigation, and canals and rail roads, 
a market is brought near to every man, 
and the whole is brought into near 
neighborhood. 

When I first entered the West, its 
vastness overpowered me with the im- 
pression of its uncontrollable greatness, 
in which all human effort must be lost. 
But when I perceived the active inter- 
course between the great cities, like the 
rapid circulation of a giant's blood ; and 
heard merchants speak of just stepping 
up to Pittsburgh only six hundred 
miles and back in a few days; and 
others just from New-Orleans, or St. 
Louis, or the Far West ; and others 
going thither; and when I heard my 



36 DR. BEECHER'S 

ministerial brethren negotiating ex- 
changes in the near neighborhood 
only one hundred miles up or down the 
river and going and returning on Sa- 
turday and Monday, and without tres- 
passing on the Sabbath; then did I 
perceive how God, who seeth the end 
from the beginning, had prepared the 
West to be mighty, and still wieldable, 
that the moral energy of his word and 
spirit might take it up as a very little 
thing. 

This vast territory is occupied now 
by ten states and will soon be by twelve. 
Forty years since it contained only 
about one hundred and fifty thousand 
souls ; while it now contains little short 
of five millions. At the close of this 
century, if no calamity intervenes, it 
will contain, probably, one hundred 
millions a day which some of our 
children may live to see; and when 
fully peopled, may accommodate three 
hundred millions. It is half as large as 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 37 

all Europe, four times as large as the 
Atlantic states, and twenty times as 
large as New-England. Was there 
ever such a spectacle such a field in 
which to plant the seeds of an immortal 
harvest ! so vast a ship, so richly laden 
with the world's treasures and riches, 
whose helm is offered to the guiding 
influence of early forming institutions! 
The certainty of success calls us to 
immediate effort. If we knew not what 
to do, if all was effort and expense in 
untried experiments, there might he 
some pretext for the paralysis of amaze- 
ment and inaction. But we know what 
to do : the means are obvious, and well 
tried, and certain. The sun and the 
rain of heaven are not more sure to call 
forth a bounteous vegetation, than Bi- 
bles, and Sabbaths, and schools, and 
seminaries, are to diffuse intellectual 
light and warmth for the bounteous 
fruits of righteousness and peace. The 
4 



38 DR. BEECHER'S 

corn and the acorn of the East are not 
more sure to vegetate at the West than 
the institutions which have blessed the 
East are to bless the West . 

But these all-pervading orbs of illu- 
mination and centres of attraction must 
be established. Such is the gravitating 
tendency of society, that no spontaneous 
effort at arms-length will hold it up. 
It is by the constant energy and strong 
attraction of powerful institutions only 
that the needed intellectual and moral 
power can be applied : and the present 
is the age of founding them. If this 
work be done, and well done, our coun- 
try is safe, and the world's hope is secure. 
The government of force will cease, and 
that of intelligence and virtue will take 
its place ; and nation after nation cheer- 
ed by our example, will follow in our 
footsteps, till the whole earth is free. 
There is no danger that our agriculture 
and arts will not prosper : the danger is, 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 39 

that our intelligence and virtue will fal- 
ter and fall back into a dark minded, 
vicious populace a poor, uneducated 
reckless mass of infuriated animalism, 
to rush on resistless as the tornado, or 
to burn as if set on fire of hell. 

Until Europe, by universal educa- 
tion, is delivered from such masses of 
feudal ignorance and servitude, she sits 
upon a volcano, and despotism and revo- 
lution will arbitrate her destiny. 

Consider, too, how quickly and how 
cheaply the guarantee of a perpetual 
and boundless prosperity can be secur- 
ed. The West needs but a momentary 
aid, when almost as soon as received, 
should it be needed, she will repay and 
quadruple both principle and interest. 
Lend a hand to get up her institutions, 
to give ubiquity to her schools and Sab- 
baths and sanctuaries, while her forests 
are falling and her ocean floods of popu- 
lation rolling in, and afterwards we will 



40 DR. BEECHER'S 

not come here to ask for aid ; for there 
is a wealth and chivalrous munificence 
there, which, when it has first perform- 
ed the necessary work of self-preserva- 
tion, will pour with you a noble tide of 
rival benevolence into that river which 
is " to make glad the city of our God." 

All at the West, is on a great scale, 
and the minds and the views of the peo- 
ple correspond with these relative pro- 
portions. Already, where churches are 
formed, they give more liberally than 
churches of the same relative condition 
at the East ; and I have no doubt the 
time is at the door, when the abundance 
of her means and enterprise will take 
the lead in those glorious enterprises 
which are to emancipate the world. 

It is not parsimony which renders 
momentary aid necessary to the West : 
it is want of time and of assimilation for 
the consciousness and wielding of her 
powers. And how cheaply can the aid 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 41 

be rendered for rearing immediately 
the first generation of her institutions 5 
cheaper than we could rear the barracks 
to accommodate an army for the de- 
fence of our liberty, for, a single cam- 
paign; cheaper than tire taxations of 
crime and its punishment during the 
same period, in the absence of literary 
and evangelical influence. 

Consider, also, that the miffhty re- 
sources of the West are worse than 
useless, without the supervening influ- 
ence of the government of God. 

To balance the temptation of such 
unrivaled abundance, the capacity of 
the West for self-destruction, without 
religious and moral culture, will be as 
terrific as her capacity for self-preserva- 
tion, with it, will be glorious. But all 
the moral energies of the government of 
God over men, are indissolubly associa- 
ted with " the ministry of reconcilia- 
tion." The Sabbath, and the preaching 
4* 



42 DR. BEECHER'S 

of the gospel, are Heaven's consecrated 
instrumentality for the efficacious ad- 
ministration of the government of mind 
in a happy, social state. By these only 
does the Sun of Righteousness arise with 
healing in his beams ; and ignorance, and 
vice, and superstition encamp around 
evangelical institutions, to rush in when- 
ever their light and power is extinct. 

The great experiment is now making, 
and from its extent and rapid filling up 
is making in the West, whether the per- 
petuity of our republican institutions 
can be reconciled with universal suf- 
frage. Without the education of the 
head and heart of the nation, they can- 
not be ; and the question to be decided 
is, can the nation, or the vast balance 
power of it be so imbued with intelli- 
gence and virtue, as to bring out, in 
laws and their administration, a perpe- 
tual self-preserving energy ? We know 
that the work is a vast one, and of great 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 43 

difficulty ; and yet we believe it can be 
done. 

We know that we have reached an 
appalling crisis ; that the work is vast 
and difficult, and is accumulating upon 
us beyond our sense of danger and deli- 
berate efforts to meet it. It is a work 
that no legislation alone can reach, and 
nothing but an undivided, earnest, de- 
cided public sentiment can achieve; and 
that, too, not by anniversary resolutions 
and fourth of July orations, but by well 
systematized voluntary associations ; 
counting the worth of our institutions, 
the perils that surround them, and the 
means and the cost of their preserva- 
tion, and making up our minds to meet 
the exigency. 

I am aware that our ablest patriots 
are looking out on the deep, vexed with 
storms, with great forebodings and fail- 
ings of heart for fear of the things that 
are coming upon us ; and I perceive a 



44 DR. BEECHER'S 

spirit of impatience rising, and distrust 
in respect to the perpetuity of our repub- 
lic ; and I am sure that these fears are 
well founded, and am glad that they 
exist. It is the star of hope in our dark 
horizon. Fear is what we need, as the 
ship needs wind on a rocking sea, after 
a storm, to prevent foundering. But 
when our fear and our efforts shall cor- 
respond with our danger, the danger is 
past. For it is not the impossibility of 
self-preservation which threatens us ; 
nor is it the unwillingness of the nation 
to pay the price of the preservation, as 
she has paid the price of the purchase 
of our liberties. It is inattention and 
inconsideration, protracted till the cri- 
sis is past, and the things which belong 
to our peace are hid from our eyes. 
And blessed be God, that the tokens of 
a national waking up, the harbinger of 
God's mercy, are multiplying upon us ! 
There is at the West an enthusias- 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 45 

tic feeling on the subject of education 
and nothing has so inspired us with hope 
as to witness the susceptibleness of the 
East on the same subject, and the na- 
tional fraternal benevolence with which 
you are ready to put forth a helping 
hand. We have been sad, but now we 
are joyful. We see, we feel that East and 
West, and North and South are waking 
up upon the subject : a redeeming spirit 
is rising which will save the nation. We 
did not, in the darkest hour, believe that 
God had brought our fathers to this 
goodly land to lay the foundation of reli- 
gious liberty, and wrought such wonders 
in their preservation, and raised their 
descendants to such heights of civil and 
religious prosperity, only to reverse the 
analogy of his providence, and abandon 
his work, and though now there be clouds 
and the sea roaring, and men's hearts 
failing, we believe there is light behind 
the cloud, and that the eminence of our 



46 DR. BEECHER'S 

danger is intended, under the guidance 
of Heaven, to call forth and apply a 
holy, fraternal fellowship between the 
East and West, which shall secure our 
preservation, and make the prosperity 
of our nation durable as time, and as 
abundant as the waves of the sea. 

I would add, as a motive to immediate 
action, that if we do fail in our great 
experiment of self-government, our de- 
struction will be as signal as the birth- 
right abandoned, the mercies abused and 
the provocation offered to beneficent 
Heave.n. The descent of desolation will 
correspond with the past elevation. No 
punishments of Heaven are so severe 
as those for mercies abused; and no in- 
strumentality employed in their inflic- 
tion is so dreadful as the wrath of man. 
No spasms are like the spasms of expir- 
ing liberty, and no wailings such as her 
convulsions extort. It took Rome three 
hundred years to die; and our death, if 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 47 

we perish, will be as much more terrific 
as our intelligence and free institutions 
have given to us more bone, and sinew 
and vitality. May God hide me from the 
day when the dying agonies of my coun- 
try shall begin ! O, thou beloved land 
bound together by the ties of brother- 
hood and common interest, and perils, 
live forever one and undivided ! 

But whatever we do, it must be done 
quickly: for there is a tide in human 
things which waits not, moments on 
which the destiny of a niticn balances, 
when the light dust may turn the right 
way or the wrong. And such is the con- 
dition of our nation now. Mighty influ- 
ences are bearing on us in high conflict, 
for good or for evil, for an immortality 
of wo, or blessedness; and a slight 
effort now may secure what ages of re- 
pentance cannot recover when lost, 
and soon the moment of our practical 
preservation may have passed away. 



48 

We must educate the whole nation 
while we may. All all who would 
vote must be enlightened, and reached 
by the restraining and preserving ener- 
gies of Heaven. The lanes and alleys 
the highways and hedges the abodes 
of filth and sordid poverty must be en- 
tered, and the young immortals sought 
out, and brought up to the light of intel- 
lectual and moral daylight. This can 
be done. God, if we are prompt and 
willing, will give us the time. But if, in 
this our day, we neglect the things that 
belong to our peace, we shall find no 
place for repentance, though we seek it 
carefully and with tears. 

But the vast amount of uneducated 
population in our land already calls 
upon us loudly to set about the work of 
rearing every where the institutions 
requisite for universal education. 

According to the most accurate esti- 
mation which can be obtained, there 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 49 

are in the United States about a million 
and a half of children without the means 
of education, and about an equal number 
, of adults, either foreigners or native 
Americans, that are uneducated. These 
large masses of unenlightened mind lie 
in almost every portion of this nation, 
and frightful statistics have been offi- 
cially given by legislative investigation 
in several of our states. In one of the 
smaller eastern states there are nearly 
thirty thousand adults and children that 
cannot read or write. In one of the 
largest there are four hundred thousand 
adults and children who have had no in- 
struction, and no means provided. In 
one of the western states, one third of 
all the children in the state are destitute 
of any provision for education. These 
are the states who have taken the lead in 
making legislative investigation. Equal- 
ly appalling developments await many 
of the other states so soon as they have 
5 



50 DR. BEECHER'S 

public spirit enough to take the same 
method for information. Every where, 
and in all ages, such masses of ignorance 
are the material of all others most dan- 
gerous to liberty ; for, as a general fact 
uneducated mind is educated vice. But 
the safety of our republic depends upon 
the intelligence, and moral principle, and 
patriotism, and property of the nation. 
These, whatever topical inflamma- 
tion may break out and push on to des- 
perate measures, will by a common in- 
stinct of self-preservation recoil when 
the precipice appears, and will unite in 
measures of common safety. But if in 
this moment of recoil there be a popu- 
lace behind, a million of voters with- 
out intelligence, or conscience, or patri- 
otism, or property, and driven on by 
demagogues to forbid recoil and push us 
over, in a moment all may be lost. Haifa 
million of unprincipled, reckless voters, 
in the hands of demagogues, may, in 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 51 

our balanced elections, overrule all the 
property, and wisdom, and moral prin- 
ciple of the nation. 

This danger from uneducated mind 
is augmenting daily by the rapid influx 
of foreign emigrants, the greater part 
unacquainted with our institutions, un- 
accustomed to self-government, inac- 
cessible to education, and easily acces- 
sible to prepossession, and inveterate 
credulity, and intrigue, and easily em- 
bodied and wielded by sinister design. 
In the beginning this eruption of revo- 
lutionary Europe was not anticipated, 
and we opened our doors wide to the 
influx and naturalization of foreigners. 
But it is becoming a terrific inundation ; 
it has increased upon our native popu- 
lation from five to thirty-seven per cent, 
and is every year advancing. It seeks, 
of course, to settle down upon the un- 
occupied territory of the West, and may 
at no distant day equal, and even out- 

u. OF ILL ua 



52 DR. BEECHER'S 

number the native population. What 
is to be done to educate the millions 
which in twenty years Europe will 
pour out upon us ?* 

But what if this emigration, self- 
moved and slow in the beginning, is 
now rolling its broad tide at the bidding 
of the powers of Europe hostile to free 
institutions, and associated in holy alli- 
ance to arrest and put them down ? Is 
this a vain fear ? Are not the continen- 
tal powers alarmed at the march of 

* Our language precludes any reference in these 
remarks to intelligent, virtuous, and industrious 
emigrants ; nor do we fail to appreciate the many 
high minded and valuable citizens among this class. 
Neither are we- unmindful of the rapid advance of 
internal improvements from the physical aid of the 
poor. But the excellence and intelligence and value 
of a portion, do not avert the danger to be appre- 
hended from the ignorant and vicious ; and the good 
derived from internal improvements can never be 
an offset for the moral and political evils which 
threaten our permanent prosperity and liberty. 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 53 

liberal opinions, and associated to put 
them down ? and are they not, with the 
sickness of hope deferred, waiting for 

our downfall? It is the light of our 

i 

republican prosperity, gleaming in upon 
their dark prison house, which is inspi- 
ring hope, and converting chains into 
arms. It is the power of mind, roused 
by our example from the sleep of ages 
and the apathy of despair, which is send- 
ing earthquake under the foundations of 
their thrones ; and they have no hope 
of rest and primeval darkness, but by 
the extinction of our light. By fleets 
and armies they cannot do it. But do 
they, therefore, sleep on their heaving 
earth and tottering thrones ? Has Met- 
ternich yet to form an acquaintance 
with history 1 Does he dream that 
there is but one way to overturn repub- 
lics, and that by the sword 1 Has he 
yet to learn how Philip, by dividing her 



54 DR. BEECHER'S 

councils, conquered Greece 7 and how, 
by intestine divisions, Rome fell 1 

If the potentates of Europe have no 
design upon our liberties, what means 
the paying of the passage and emptying 
out upon our shores such floods of pau- 
per emigrants the contents of the poor- 
house and the sweepings of the streets ? 
multiplying tumults and violence, fill- 
ing our prisons, and crowding our poor- 
houses, and quadrupling our taxation, 
and sending annually accumulating 
thousands to the polls to lay their inex- 
perienced hand upon the helm of our 
power ? Does Metternich imagine that 
there is no party spirit in our land, 
whose feverish urgency would facilitate 
their naturalization and hasten them to 
the ballot box 7 and no demagogues, 
who for a little brief authority, however 
gained, would sell their country to 
an everlasting bondage ? A foreign in- 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 55 

fluence acting efficaciously on the coun- 
cils of a republic, has always been re- 
garded and always proved itself to be 
among the most fatal to liberty. But 
in no form can it assume such power as 
in the form of a consolidated mass of 
alien voters, to balance in contested 
elections the suffrages of the nation ; 
rendering foreigners the most favored 
and most courted people, and giving an 
easy predominance to foreign influence 
in our national councils. The wily po- 
litician does not sleep over our prospe- 
rity, or despair of our overthrow. But 
he exults full of hope that we sleep 
while he is sowing with broad cast 
among us the elements of future strife, 
and preparing our ruin by the only 
means by which republics have ever 
fallen. 

It is the testimony of American tra- 
velers, that the territorial, civil and ec- 
clesiastical statistics of our country, and 



56 DR. BEECHER'S 

the action and bearing of political causes 
upon our institutions, are more familiar 
at Rome and Vienna, than with us ; 
and that tracts and maps are in circu- 
lation, explanatory of the capacious 
West, and pointing out the most fertile 
soils and most favored locations, and 
inviting to emigration. These means 
of a stimulated expatriation are corro- 
borated by the copious and rapidly in- 
creasing correspondence of those who 
have already arrived, and the increas- 
ing facilities of transportation. 

But if, upon examination, it should 
appear that three-fourths of the foreign 
emigrants whose accumulating tide is 
rolling in upon us, are, through the me- 
dium of their religion and priesthood, as 
entirely accessible to the control of 
the potentates of Europe as if they 
were an army of soldiers, enlisted and 
officered, and sjpreading over the land ; 
then, indeed, should we have just occa- 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 57 

sion to apprehend danger to our liberties. 
It would be the union of church and 
state in the midst of us. The church 
and the state both in Europe, and the 
pliant colonial church here. Her priest- 
hood educated under the despotic 
governments of Catholic Europe, and 
dependent for their office, support and 
honors upon a foreign temporal prince, 
on whose sanction to their laws and 
doings they are as dependent as the 
colonies were upon George the Third,* 
and this prince, too, elected by Austrian 
influence and sustained by Austrian 
bayonets, and of course subservient to 
Austrian policy :| a priesthood not 

* In the account of the last convocation or coun- 
cil of the Catholic church in the United States, sent 
to Europe, they say : " It was not thought proper to 
publish its acts until they had been approved at 
Rome, whither they had been sent. Quarterly 
Register, vol. 3, p. 96. 

f Lest the charge should seem gratuitous, of the 
pope being the creature of Austria, it may be well 



58 DR. BEECHER'S 

elected by their people, or dependent 
on them during good behavior, or 
accountable to them for their deeds, 
but dependent on a foreign jurisdiction, 

to subjoin the language of an intelligent American 
who was in Rome during the deliberations of the 
conclave respecting the election of the present pon- 
tiff. He says : 

" It was interesting to hear the speculations of 
the Italians on the probability of this or that cardi- 
nal's election. Couriers were daily arriving from 
the various despotic powers, and intrigues were rife 
in the ante-chambers of the Quirinal palace ; now it 
was said that Spain would carry her candidate, now 
Italy, and now Austria, and when cardinal Capel- 
lani was proclaimed pope, the universal cry, mixed 
too with low-muttered curses, was, that Austria had 
succeeded. The new pope had scarcely chosen 
his title of Gregory XVI., and passed through the 
ceremonies of coronation, before the revolution in 
his states gave him the opportunity of calling in 
Austria to take possession of the patrimony of St. 
Peter, which his own troops could not keep for an 
hour ; and at this moment Austrian soldiers hold 
the Roman legions in subjection to the cabinet of 
Vienna. Is not the pope a creature of Austria ?" 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 59 

and to a great extent on foreign pa- 
tronage. This would, indeed, be a 
church and state union another na- 
tion within the nation the Greek in 
the midst of Troy. 

The simple fact, that the clergy of 
the Catholic denomination could wield 
in mass the suffrage of their confiding 
people, could not fail, in the competi- 
tion of ambition and party spirit, to 
occasion immediately an eager compe- 
tition for their votes, placing them at 
once in the attitude of the most favored 
sect; securing the remission of duties 
on imported church property, and copi- 
ous appropriations of land for the en- 
dowment of their institutions ; shielding 
them from animadversion by the sensi- 
tiveness of parties on account of their 
political ends ; and turning against 
their opponents, and in favor of Ca- 
tholics, the patronage and the tremen- 
dous influence of the administration, 



60 DR. BEECHER'S 

whose ascendency and continuance 
might, in closely contested elections, 
be thought to depend on Catholic suf- 
frage. Should it be asserted that the 
clergy of every denomination, can or do 
exert as decisive a political influence 
over their people as the Catholic clergy, 
the assertion is notoriously untrue. 

The ministers of no Protestant sect 
could or would dare to attempt to regu- 
late the votes of their people as the 
Catholic priests can do, who at the 
confessional learn all the private con- 
cerns of their people, and have almost 
unlimited power over the conscience 
as it respects the performance of every 
civil or social duty.. 

There is another point of dissimi- 
larity of still greater importance. The 
opinions of the Protestant clergy are 
congenial with liberty they are cho- 
sen by the people who have been edu- 
cated as freemen, and they are depen- 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 61 

dent on them for patronage and support. 
The Catholic system is adverse to 
liberty, and the clergy to a great extent 
are dependent on foreigners opposed to 
the principles of our government, for 
patronage and support. 

Nor is this all the secular patro- 
nage at the disposal of an associated 
body of men, who under the influence 
of their priesthood may be induced to 
act as one, for those who favor and 
against those who oppose them, would 
enable them to touch far and wide 
the spring of action through our cities 
and through the nation. How many 
presses might they influence by their 
promised patronage or threatened with- 
drawrnent ? How many mechanics, 
merchants, lawyers, physicians, in any 
political crisis, might they reach and ren- 
der timid, and temporizing, and prudent 
not to say sturdy, eulogists of Catho- 
lics, lest they should lose the patronage 
of a sect, who alone can yield a pa- 
6 



62 

tronage to favor or to punish those who 
favor or obstruct their views. And if 
while they are few and feeble, compared 
with the whole nation, their consolida- 
ted action gives them such various and 
extended influence, how will its power 
extend and become omnipresent and 
resistless as emigration shall quadruple 
their numbers and action on the po- 
litical and business men of the na- 
tion? 

No government is more complex and 
difficult of preservation than a republic, 
and in no political associations do little 
adverse causes produce more disastrous 
results. Of all the influences, none is 
more pernicious than a corps of men 
acting systematically and perseveringly 
for its own ends upon a community un- 
apprized of their doings, and undisci- 
plined to meet and counteract them. A 
tenth part of the suffrage of the nation, 
thus condensed and wielded by the 
Catholic powers of Europe, might de- 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. OO 

cide our elections, perplex our policy, 
inflame and divide the nation, break the 
bond of our union, and throw down our 
free institutions. The voice of history 
also warns us, that no sinister influence 
has ever intruded itself into politics, so 
virulent and disastrous as that of an am- 
bitious ecclesiastical influence, or which 
demands, now and always, keener vigi- 
lance or a more active resistance. 

But before I proceed, to prevent 
misapprehension, I would say that I 
have no fear of the Catholics, consider- 
ed simply as a religious denomination, 
and unallied to the church and state 
establishments of the European govern- 
ments hostile to republican institutions. 

Let the Catholics mingle with us as 
Americans and come with their chil- 
dren under the full action of our com- 
mon schools and republican institutions, 
and the various powers of assimilation, 
and we are prepared cheerfully to abide 



64 DR. BEECHER'S 

the consequences. If in these circum- 
stances the Protestant religion cannot 
stand before the Catholic, let it go down, 
and we will sound no alarm, and ask 
no aid, and make no complaint. It is 
no ecclesiastical quarrel to which we 
would call the attention of the Ameri- 
can nation. 

Nor would I consent that the civil 
and religious rights of the Catholics 
should be abridged or violated. As na- 
turalized citizens, to all that we enjoy 
we bid them welcome, and would have 
their property and rights protected with 
the same impartiality and efficacy that 
the property and rights of every other 
denomination are protected ; and we 
should abhor the interposition of law r - 
less violence to injure the property or 
control the rights of Catholics as vehe- 
mently as if it were directed against 
Protestants and their religion. For when 
the day comes that lawless force pre- 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. DO 

vails, argument and free inquiry are 
ended, and law and courts are impotent 
and useless, and liberty is extinct, and 
anarchy by its terrors will compel men to 
call in the protection of despotic power 
to save them from the pursuing hell. 
The late violence done to Catholic pro- 
perty at Charlestown is regarded with 
regret and abhorrence by Protestants 
and patriots throughout the land, though 
the excitement which produced it had 
no relation whatever to religious opin- 
ions, and no connection with any reli- 
gious denomination of Christians. 

We are equally opposed to any at- 
tempt to cast odium upon Catholics of 
the present generation for any maxims, 
doctrines or practices of past ages, which 
are now by the competent authority of 
the pope or a general council disavowed. 
But for all the political bearings of their 
unchangeable and infallible creed, and 
for all the deeds of persecution and 
6* 



66 DR. BEECHER'S 

blood, JUSTIFIED BY THEIR PRINCIPLES and 

perpetuated by Catholic powers, and not 
disavowed by his holiness or by a council, 
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH is ACCOUNTABLE, 
whatever may be the personal opinion 
of particular individuals or particular 
departments of that great community. 
In our animadversions, however, 
even on these things, a declamatory, 
virulent, contemptuous, sarcastic, taunt- 
ing, denunciatory style is as unchristian 
as it is in bad taste and indiscreet. The 
invidious technics of the old controversy 
have gone into oblivion, and it is impos- 
sible to bring back the image and body 
of the times gone by as they stood in 
dreadful reality around our persecuted 
fathers; and however the urgency of 
oppression in a rough age may palliate 
the use of such terms by them, sound 
argument with meek firmness had been 
better even then : and it is one of the 
most hopeful signs of the present times, 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 67 

that public sentiment demands such 
courtesy of all religious controvertists 
now, and will not endure a dialect of 
rudeness, ill-temper and violence. If 
the reaction upon Catholics for the use 
of such language is not as stern and 
powerful as on Protestants, it is only 
because as strangers and a minority, 
more aggressive language will be tole- 
rated in them than the Protestant ma- 
jority will be permitted to hurl back ; 
while even they, in the use of invidious 
terms, and the manifestation of a viru- 
lent, discourteous arid contemptuous 
spirit, are fast using up both the sympa- 
thy and patience of the community in 
their behalf. 

Besides, the Catholics in great num- 
bers are with us, and their increase by 
emigration, if it can be regulated, can 
never be wholly prevented. Our rich 
unoccupied territory, our national works 
and their poverty and oppression at home 



68 DR. BEECHER'S 

will as certainly bring over adven turers 
as a vacuum will call in the circumjacent 
atmosphere ; and it is impossible to avert 
the danger from so much exile popula- 
tion but by a friendly approximation, and 
the ubiquity and powerful illumination 
of our institutions, and the overcoming 
influence of Christian enterprise and 
Christian love. It is not the striking of 
the fist which will disarm them, but 
words and acts of kindness and the warm 
beating of our heart; while contemptu- 
ous treatment will augment their hatred 
of Protestants, and rivet their preju- 
dice, and deliver them over double 
bound to the power of their priesthood, 
already too great for their happiness 
and our safety. 

In this view of the subject, I cannot 
but regret the manner in which the con- 
troversy between the Catholics and Pro- 
testants has in various instances been 
conducted, in which the style and temper 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 69 

as the means of doing good, were the 
very worst that could have been chosen, 
and the very best as the means of aiding 
the cause they were intended to oppose. 
Important facts and powerful argu- 
ments have been given, but so mingled 
with invective and taunt, and sarcasm, 
and reviling, as to injure the cause as 
much by the disgust occasioned, as it 
was aided by the power of argument. 

It is to the political claims and cha- 
racter of the Catholic religion, and its 
church and state alliance with the po- 
litical and ecclesiastical governments of 
Europe hostile to liberty, and the ten- 
dency upon our republican institutions 
of flooding the nation suddenly with 
emigrants of this description, on whom 
for many years European influence 
may be exerted w r ith such ease, and 
certainty, and power, that we call the 
attention of the people of this nation. 
Did the Catholics regard themselves 



70 DR. BEECHER'S 

only as one of many denominations of 
Christians, entitled only to equal rights 
and privileges, there would be no such 
cause for apprehension while they 
peaceably sustained themselves by their 
own arguments and well doing. But if 
Catholics are taught to believe that 
their church is the only church of Christ, 
out of whose inclosure none can be 
saved, -that none may read the Bible 
but by permission of the priesthood and 
no one be permitted to understand it and 
worship God according to the dictates 
of his own conscience, that heresy is a 
capital offence not to be tolerated, but 
punished by the civil power with dis- 
franchisement, death and confiscation of 
goods, that the pope and the councils of 
the church are infallible, and her rights 
of ecclesiastical jurisdiction universal 
and as far as possible and expedient may 
be of right, and ought to be as a matter 
of duty, enforced by the civil power, 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 71 

that to the pope belongs the right of in- 
terference with the political concerns 
of nations, enforced by his authority 
over the consciences of Catholics, and 
his power to corroborate or cancel their 
oath of allegiance, and to sway them to 
obedience or insurrection by the power 
of life or death eternal : if such, I say, 
are the maxims avowed by her pontiff^ 
sanctioned by her councils, stereotyped on 
her ancient records, advocated by her 
most approved authors, illustrated in all 
ages by her history, and still UNREPEALED 
and still acted upon in the armed pro- 
hibition of free inquiry and religious 
liberty, and the punishment of heresy 
wherever her power remains unbro- 
ken : if these things are so, is it invi- 
dious and is it superfluous to call the 
attention of the nation to the bearing 
of such a denomination upon our civil 
and religious institutions and equal 
rights ? It is the right of SELF-PRESER- 



72 DR. BEECHER'S 

VATTON, and the denial of it is TREASON 

Or the? INFATUATION OP FOLLY. 

It is the duty also enforced by the 
unparalleled novelty and urgency of our 
condition ; for since the irruption of the 
northern barbarians, the world has 
never witnessed such a rush of dark- 
minded population from one country to 
another, as is now leaving Europe, and 
dashing upon our shores. It is not the 
northern hive, but the whole hive which 
is swarming out upon our cities and 
unoccupied territory as the effect of 
overstocked population, of civil oppres- 
sion, of crime and poverty, and political 
and ecclesiastical design. Clouds like 
the locusts of Egypt are rising from the 
hills and plains of Europe, and on the 
wings of every wind, are coming over 
to settle down upon our fair fields ; 
while millions, moved by the noise of 
their rising and cheered by the news of 
their safe arrival and green pastures, 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 73 

are preparing for flight in an endless 
succession. 

Capitalists and landholders, who feel 
in Europe the premonitions of coming 
evil are transferring their treasures to 
our funds, and making large investments 
in land, and facilitating emigration to 
augment the value of their property. 
Our unoccupied soil is coming fast into 
the European market, and foreign capi- 
talists and speculators are holding com- 
petition with our own. So that, were 
there no political and no ecclesiastical 
ends to be accomplished, the rapid in- 
flux upon us of such masses of uneduca- 
ted mind of other tongues and habits 
would itself alone demand an immediate 
and earnest national supervision, on the 
same principles of self-preservation that 
would dyke out the ocean or turn the 
mountain torrent from carrying deso- 
lation over our fields. For the causes 
are mighty and radical which threaten 
7 



74 DR. BEECHER'S 

us : while the peculiarity of our organ- 
ization in national and state govern- 
ments gives potency to their action 
and imbecility to our resistance. 

But if this tremendous tide of Europe- 
an emigration is from two-thirds to three 
quarters of it under the direction of the 
feudal potentates of Europe, associated 
to put down at home and abroad the 
liberal institutions of the world, and to 
reach us are availing themselves of a 
religion which has always sustained 
their thrones and been sustained by 
them despotic in its constitution and 
doctrines, and in all ages found in the 
ranks of despotism, contending against 
the civil and religious rights of man 
a religion which extinguished the lin- 
gering remains of Roman liberty, and 
warred for thirty years against the 
resurrection of civil and religious lib- 
erty in modern Europe, and holds 
now the mind in unmitigated bondage 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 75 

wherever its power is unbroken, and is 
the mainstay of opposition to the efforts 
of European patriots to' break the yoke 
and ameliorate the condition of man; 
if this religion is rising in the midst of 
us, by floods of annual emigration, by 
its undivided suffrage to balance our 
elections and sway our destiny, and by 
the aid of royal munificence to endow 
our institutions, and by underbidding 
and gratuitous instruction to monopo- 
lize the education of the coming gene- 
rations, why should we shut our eyes, 
and stop our ears, and cry, Peace, while 
destruction is coming ? 

There is no despotism so terrible as 
a popular despotism under the names 
and forms of liberty, where ignorance 
and prejudice, and passion and irreligion, 
and crime are wielded by desperate po- 
litical ambition and a corrupting for- 
eign influence ; and if ever our liberties 
perish, it will be by the explosion of the 



76 DR. BEECHER'S 

volcanic power of the European and 
American populace, and foreign influ- 
ence and American demagogues in bad 
alliance, who will ride in the whirlwind 
and direct the storm. This I am aware 
is strong language. But strong lan- 
guage is demanded ; for this giant nation 
sleepeth and must be awaked. For 
obvious and imminent as is the danger, 
its development is recent, and the ac- 
tion of it on many minds is prevented 
by a multitude of careless, common- 
place, fallacious maxims pouring con- 
tempt on fear and holding the commu- 
nity spell-bound ; some of which I must 
note and expose. 

It is nothing but a controversy about 
religion, it is said a thing which has 
nothing to do with the liberty and pros- 
perity of nations, and the sooner it is 
banished from the world the better. 

As well might it be insisted that the 
sun has no influence on the solar sys- 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 77 

tern, or the moon on the tides. In all 
ages, religion, of some kind, has been 
the former of man's character and the 
mainspring of his action. It has done 
more to fill up the eventful page of his- 
tory, than all moral causes beside. It 
has been the great agitator or tranquil- 
izer of nations, the orb of darkness 
or of light to the world, the fountain 
of purity or pollution, the mighty pow- 
er of riveting or bursting the chains 
of men. Atheists may rage and blas- 
pheme, but they cannot expel religion 
of some kind from the world. Their 
epidemic madness, like the volcano, 
may at times break out, and obscure 
the sun, and turn the moon into blood, 
and extend from nation to nation the 
cup of God's displeasure, covering the 
earth with the slain and the fragments 
of demolished inst ilutions.But it can 
reconstruct nothing. It must be tem- 
porary, or it would empty the earth of 
7* 



78 DR. BEECHER'S 

its inhabitants. It will be temporary, 
because so bright are the evidences of 
a superior power, and so frail and full 
of sorrow are men. and so guilty and 
full of fears, that if Christianity does 
not guide them to the true God and 
Jesus Christ, superstition will send them 
to the altars of demons. 

But it is a contest, it is said, about 
religion and religion and politics have 
no sort of connection. Let the religion- 
ists fight their own battles ; only keep 
the church and state apart, and there is 
no danger. 

It is a union of church and state, 
which we fear, and to prevent which we 
lift up our voice : a union which never 
existed without corrupting the church 
and enslaving the people, by making the 
ministry independent of them and de- 
pendent on -the state, and to a great 
extent a sinecure aristocracy of indo- 
lence and secular ambition, auxiliary to 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 79 

the throne and inimical to liberty. No 
treason against our free institutions 
would be more fatal than a union of 
church and state ; none, when perceived 
would bring on itself a more overwhelm- 
ing public indignation, and which all 
Protestant denominations would resist 
with more loathing and abhorrence. 

And is there, therefore, no danger 
of a church and state union, because 
all denominations cannot unite, and no 
one can elude the vigilant resistance of 
the rest? Is there no other door at 
which the innovation can come in? 
How has the union been constituted in 
times past? Not as coveted by the 
church, and secured by her artifice or 
power ; but as coveted by the state, and 
sought for purposes of secular ambition 
to strengthen the arm of despotic power. 
It was Constantine who invited the 
church into an alliance with the state, 
nay, forced upon her the corrupting 



80 DR. BEECHER'S 

honor. It was the kings of the earth 
who gave their protection to a despotic 
form of corrupted Christianity;, from 
which, when the power of superstition 
overmastered the sceptre, they have 
been taking it away. 

But in republics the temptation and 
the facilities of courting an alliance 
with church power may be as great as 
in governments of less fluctuation. Amid 
the competitions of party and the strug- 
gles of ambition, it is scarcely possible 
that the clergy of a large denomination 
should be able to give a direction to 
the suffrage of their whole people, and 
not become for the time being the most 
favored denomination, and in balanced 
elections the dominant sect, whose influ- 
ence in times of discontent may perpe- 
tuate power against the unbiased ver- 
dict of public opinion. The free circu- 
lation of the blood is not more essential 
to bodily health, than the easy, unob- 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 

structed movement of public sentiment 
in a republic. All combinations to fore- 
stall and baffle its movements tend to 
the destruction of liberty. Its fluctua- 
tions are indeed an evil ; but the power 
to arrest its fluctuations and chain it 
down is despotism ; and when it is 
accomplished by the bribed alliance of 
ecclesiastical influence in the control of 
suffrage, it appears in its most 'hateful 
and alarming form. It is true, that the 
discovery might produce a reaction, and 
sweep away the ecclesiastical inter- 
meddlers. But in political crises, ca- 
lamities may be inflicted in a day, 
which ages cannot repair ; and who can 
tell, when the time comes, whether the 
power will be too strong for the fetters, 
or the fetters for the power? For none 
but desperate men will employ such 
measures for the acquisition of power; 
and when desperate men have gained 
power they will not relinquish it with- 
out a struggle. 



82 DR. EEECHER'S 

The Lord deliver us from the alli- 
ance of any church with the state ; for 
it will be the alliance of ambition with 
ambition, of corruption with corruption, 
of despotism with despotism, and of a 
persecuting irreligion with a persecuting 
Christianity. It will produce a reac- 
tion, should the alliance ever take place ; 
but the conflict will be dreadful, and 
blood will flow. 

We say, then, with the objector, only 
keep the church and state apart, and 
there will be no danger. But while 
you watch the door at which the alli- 
ance never did come, do not forget to 
watch the door at which it always has 
entered the door of the state, inviting 
the alliance of church power to sustain 
its own weakness, and nerve its arm for 
despotic dominion. 

" But why so much excitement 
about the Catholic religion ? Is not one 
religion just as good as another ?" 

There are some who think that 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 83 

Calvinism is not quite as good a religion 
as some others. I have heard it de- 
nounced as a severe, unsocial, self-right- 
eous, uncharitable, exclusive, prosecu- 
ting system dealing damnation round 
the land compassing sea and land to 
make proselytes, and forming conspira- 
cies to overturn the liberties of the na- 
tion by an unhallowed union of church 
and state. There have been those, too, 
who have thought it neither meddle- 
some nor persecution to investigate the 
facts in the case, and scan the republi- 
can tendencies of the Calvanistic sys- 
tem. Though it has always been on 
the side of liberty in its struggles against 
arbitrary power; though, through the 
puritans, it breathed into the British 
constitution its most invaluable princi- 
ples, and laid the foundations of the re- 
publican institutions of our nation, and 
felled the forests, and fought the colo- 
nial battles with Canadian Indians and 



84 DR. BEECHER'S 

French Catholics, when often our desti- 
ny balanced on a pivot and hung upon 
a hair; and though it wept, and prayed, 
and fasted, and fought, and suffered 
through the revolutionary struggle, when 
there was almost no other creed but 
the Calvanistic in the land ; still it is 
the opinion of many, that its well-doings 
of the past should not invest the system 
with implicit confidence, or supersede 
the scrutiny of its republican tendencies. 
They do not think themselves required 
to letCalvmistS alone; and why should 
they ? We do not ask to be let alone, 
nor cry persecution when our creed or 
conduct is analyzed. We are .not an- 
noyed by scrutiny ; we seek no conceal- 
ment. We court investigation of our 
past history, and of all the tendencies of 
the doctrines and doings of the friends 
of the Reformation ; and why should the 
Catholic religion be exempted from scru- 
tiny ? Has it disclosed more vigorous 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 85 

republican tendencies ? Has it done 
more to enlighten the intellect, to purify 
the morals, and sanctify the hearts of 
men, and fit them for self-government 1 
Has it fought more frequently or suc- 
cessfully the battles of liberty against 
despotism ? or done more to enlighten 
the intellect, purify the morals, and 
sanctify the heart of the world, and pre- 
pare it for universal liberty? 

I protest against that unlimited 
abuse with which it is thought quite 
proper to round off declamatory periods 
against the religion of those who fought 
the battles of the reformation and the 
battles of the revolution, and that sensi- 
tiveness and liberality which would 
shield from animadversion and spread 
the mantle of charity over a religion 
which never prospered but in alliance 
with despotic governments, has always 
been and still is the inflexible enemy of 
liberty of conscience and free inquiry^ 
8 



86 DR. BEECHER'S 

and at this moment is the main stay of 
the battle against republican institutions, 
A despotic government and despotic reli- 
gion may not be able to endure free 
inquiry, but a republic and religious 
liberty CANNOT EXIST WITHOUT IT. 
Where force is withdrawn, and mil- 
lions are associated for self-government, 
the complex mass of opinions and inte- 
rests can be reduced to system and 
order only by the collision and resolu- 
tion of intellectual and moral forces. 
To lay the ban of a fastidious charity 
on religious free inquiry, would termi- 
nate in unthinking apathy and the intel- 
lectual stagnation of the dark ages. 
Whatever European nations may do, 
our nation must read and think from 
length to breadth, from top to bottom. 
It is a perilous experiment we have ad- 
ventured upon ; but it is begun, and we 
cannot go back. For mind has felt its 
own power, and is girding itself for 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 87 

efforts never yet made, and with 
means and motives never before pos- 
sessed, and on such a field as before 
was never opened, and it is only the 
mighty salutary action of mind which 
can carry us through. 

It is an anti-republican charity, 
then, which would shield the Catholics, 
or any other religious denomination, 
from the animadversion of impartial 
criticism. Denominations, as really as 
books, are public property, and demand 
and are benefited by criticism. And 
if ever the Catholic religion is liberal- 
ized and assimilated to our institutions, 
it must be done, not by a sickly senti- 
mentalism screening it from animad- 
version, but by subjecting it to the tug 
of controversy, and turning upon it the 
searching inspection of the public eye, 
and compelling it, like all other reli- 
gions among us, to pass the ordeal of 
an enlightened public sentiment. 



88 DR. BEECHER'S 

" But are not the Catholics sincere? 
why not, then, let them alone T That 
they are sincere in their faith there can 
be no doubt. But what the republican 
tendency of their faith is, depends on 
what they believe, and not on the simple 
fact that they do believe it. If they 
believe in the rights and duties of uni- 
versal education, of free inquiry, of 
reading and understanding the Bible, 
and in the liberty and equality of all 
religious denominations, and that they 
and we are accountable only to God 
and the laws of the land, it is well. 
But if they believe that the pope and 
the church are infallible, that his 
ecclesiastical jurisdiction is universal, 
that he and the priests have the power 
of eternal life or death, in the bestow- 
ment or refusal of pardon as they obey 
or disobey them, that no man may 
read the Bible without the permission 
of the priesthood, or understand it but 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 89 

as they interpret, and that every 
Catholic is bound to believe implicitly 
as the church believes, and that all 
non-Catholics are heretics, and heresy 
a capital offence, and the extermination 
of heretics by force duty, then the 
more anti-republican the elements of 
their faith are, the more terrific is their 
sincerity, which on the peril of their 
soul would make them the instruments 
of a foreign policy in overturning our 
institutions for the establishment of 
those of their own church. 

" But have there not been great and 
good men in the Catholic Church 7" 
Doubtless. Luther was a great and 
good man while he was in the church, 
or he had never left it ; and others have 
given evidence of piety who never did 
abandon her communion. But does 
the existence of a few good men 
in a church and state union sanctify 
the system ? are all systems contain- 
8* 



90 DR. BEECHER'S 

ing men of talents and piety of good 
republican tendency ? There may be 
great and good men in Russia, and 
Prussia, and Austria, and Italy; but 
does that prove the republican tenden- 
cies of their religious systems ? It 
might be well to ascertain, too, whether 
the great and good men in the Catho- 
lic church have ever exerted a predo- 
minant influence in it, and have not 
rather endured what they could not 
reform, and if not persecuted, were 
tolerated in an impotent minority for 
the credit their virtues gave, without 
the power of changing the maxims and 
tendencies of the system? Whether 
Catholics are pious or learned, is not the 
question ; but what are the republican 
tendencies of their system ? I am press- 
ing upon republican America that it 
is better for her to educate her popula- 
tion by her own sons and money, 
than to rely on the school-masters and 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 91 

charitable contributions of the despotic 
governments of Catholic Europe and 
the more piety, and talent, and learning 
they should bring to our aid, the more 
deep and indelible would be the im- 
pression they might make adverse to 
our religious and political institu- 
tions. 

"But have not the Catholics just as 
good a right to their religion as other 
denominations have to theirs 7" I have 
said so. I not only admit their equal 
rights, but insist upon them ; and am 
prepared to defend their rights as I am 
those of my own and other Protestant 
denominations. The CatJwlics have a 
perfect right to proselyte the nation to 
their faith if they are able to do it. But 
I too have the right of preventing it if I 
am able. They have a right freely to 
propagate their opinions and arguments; 
and I too have a right to apprise the na- 
tion of their political bearings on our 



92 DR. BEECHER'S 

republican institutions. They have a 
right to test the tendencies of protestant- 
ism by an appeal to history ; and I, by 
an appeal to history, have a right to 
illustrate the coincidence between the 
political doctrines and the practice of 
the Catholic church, and to show that 
always they have been hostile to civil 
and religious liberty. The Catholics 
claim and exercise the liberty of ani- 
madverting on the doctrines and doings 
of Protestants, and we do not complain 
of it : and why should they or their 
friends complain that we in turn should 
animadvert on the political maxims and 
doings of the Catholic church ? Must 
Catholics have all the liberty their own 
and ours too ? Can they not endure the 
reaction of free inquiry 1 Must we lay 
our hand on our mouth in their presence, 
and stop the press ? Let them count the 
cost and such as cannot bear the scrutiny 
of free inquiry return where there is none ; 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 93 

for though we would kindly accommo- 
date them in all practicable ways, we 
cannot surrender our rights for their 
accommodation. 

But are not the Catholic priesthood 
useful to keep in order their unlettered 
population, to secure the restitution of 
property, and in cases of popular tumult, 
by the waving of the hand to allay ex- 
citement and obviate violence ? 

But how much better it were if their 
people were so educated as not wrong- 
fully to take the property of their neigh- 
bors. And what per centage do you 
imagine ever returns to the owner by the 
instrumentality of the confessional and 
the priesthood. And as to the power of 
stilling tumults by waving the hand were 
it not better so to educate their people as 
to prevent such insurrections of wrath. 
And in what sort of elementary prepa- 
ration for naturalization at the polls is 
the mind of a mob whose rage may be 



94 DR. BEECHER'S 

tamed and their purpose controlled by 
the waving of a bishop's hand? and 
what if this hand should wave onward 
instead of off? And how felicitous the 
condition of American citizens, who de- 
pend gratefully upon the hand and will 
of a Catholic bishop to protect them 
from elubs, and conflagration, and the 
knife ! 

For what was the city of Boston for 
five nights under arms her military 
upon the alert her citizens enrolled, 
and a body of five hundred men con- 
stantly patrolling the streets? Why 
were the accustomed lectures for public 
worship, and other public secular meet- 
ings, suspended ? Why were the citi- 
zens, at sound of bell, convened at 
mid-day in Fanuiel Hall? to hear 
Catholicism eulogized, and thanksgiv- 
ings offered to his reverence the bishop, 
for his merciful protection of the chil- 
dren of the pilgrims ! And why by the 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 95 

cradle of liberty, and under the sha- 
dow of Bunker's Hill, did men turn pale, 
and whisper, and look over their shoul- 
ders and around to ascertain whether 
it were safe to speak aloud, or meet to 
worship God 1 Has it come to this ? 
that the capital of New-England has 
been thrown into consternation by the 
threats of a Catholic mob, and that her 
temples and mansions stand only through 
the forbearance of a Catholic bishop ? 
There can be no liberty in the presence 
of such masses of dark mind, and of 
such despotic power over it in a single 
man. Safety on such terms is not the 
protection of law, but of single handed 
despotism. Will our great cities con- 
sent to receive protection from the 
Catholic priesthood dependent on the 
Catholic powers of Europe, and favored 
by his holiness, who is himself governed 
by the bayonets of Austria 1 

I do not forget that non-Catholics 






96 

were first in the aggression, or depre- 
cate the proper conduct of the bishop 
in restraining the indignation of his 
people at the wrong which had been 
done them. I am answering an argu- 
ment often urged in favor of the Catho- 
lic religion, viz : the influence of its 
clergy in protecting us against popular 
tumults; and my answer is that the 
population which can be governed thus 
by the power of superstition is a dange- 
rous population and the power which 
governs it a dangerous power and I 
allude to the panic and military array 
in Boston to illustrate the peril and 
commotion which a small body of Ca- 
tholic population may produce in spite 
of clerical power and to place in me- 
rited contempt, the idea that the Catho- 
lic religion should be advocated on the 
ground of its power of protecting Pro- 
testant republicans, against the violence 
of its own people. And I am sure I 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 97 

express but a small portion of the dis- 
gust which was felt in Boston at the 
sycophantic eulogies of the Catholic 
religion, and of the Catholic bishop as 
if he had immortalized himself, and 
placed Boston under everlasting obliga- 
tions for having done what was as 
much the dictate of a sagacious policy 
as it was also the dictate of duty. 

But, it is said, " the Catholics do not 
interfere at all with the religion of their 
Protestant pupils. They have no such 
design. They promise not to do it, and 
only require as a matter of decency and 
order a conformity to the rules of the 
school." 

They cannot help interfering with the 
religion of their pupils. The known 
opinions and kind attentions of instruct- 
ors sedulous to please, and a constant 
familiarity with their example and reli- 
gious instruction and the doctrines, pray- 
ers, ceremonies and worship of the 
9 



98 DR. BEECHER'S 

church, cannot fail to affect the mind 
of Protestant youth allaying appre- 
hension, conciliating affection, inspiring 
confidence and undermining their Pro- 
testant education until they became 
either sceptics, or devotees, or at least the 
friends and apologists and auxiliaries 
of Catholics. You may as well sus- 
pend the attraction of gravity, or inter- 
cept the connection between cause and 
effect, as to prevent the adverse action 
of a Catholic education on the minds 
of Protestant children. 

" But they have no design to subvert 
the religion of Protestant children." 

And what if they have no design 7 
Will the absence of a deliberate pur- 
pose stay the influence or avert the 
effects of such powerful tendencies 
constantly acting upon the youthful 
mind? The action of physical and 
moral causes is not dependent on de- 
sign. Fire will burn, and poisons 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 99 

destroy, independent of the malignant 
purpose in the application. 

But have they no design ? Is not the 
system of instruction, and every rela- 
tion and circumstance of the condition 
of their pupils, a matter of deliberate 
arrangement 1 and is it not as well 
adapted to produce effect as it could 
be? and are not the consequences con- 
tinually witnessed? Do they not 
studiously withhold Catholic children 
from the action of such causes in 
Protestant schools, and tax their own 
people, and supplicate the royal munifi- 
cence of Catholic Europe to rear 
schools and colleges for the cheap and 
even gratuitous education of Protestant 
children, high and low, while thou- 
sands of Catholic children are utterly 
neglected and uncared for, and aban- 
doned to ignorance and vice ? And is 
all this without design ? 

" But they promise not to interfere 



100 DR. BEECHER'S 

with the religion of their Protestant 
pupils, only so far as is implied in 
conformity to the regulations of the 
school," i. e. they will not coerce and 
persecute them, nor assail them by 
direct disputation and argument 
which would preclude the access of 
pupils; while the entire associations 
and influences and instruction of the 
school are in the most dexterous man- 
ner possible contrived to effect that 
which they promise not to attempt. 
There is an inhibition of such free con- 
versation and discussion on disputed 
points by the students among them- 
selves, as would be calculated to sus- 
tain Protestant opinions and associa- 
tions. The entire absence of all Pro- 
testant books touching religion, with 
the presence of those which are Catho- 
lic; while by separate beds, and si- 
lence, and the presence of an overseer 
in the lodging room and in all their 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 101 

amusements and walks and ways, the 
action of every thing Protestant is sus- 
pended, and the active, universal, con- 
stant action becomes Catholic. Every 
day they assist, i. e. they unite in 
Catholic worship engage in and com- 
ply with their forms and ceremonies 
commit their catechisms, recite their 
prayers to the Virgin Mary and for the 
repose of the dead, and make the 
crosses and genuflexions. They are not 
permitted to attend Protestant worship, 
but hear points of Catholic doctrine 
explained, discussed arid defended.* 
In short, they receive as pefect a Catho- 
lic education as the Catholic children 
themselves who are educated among 
them. 

* A gentleman who passed four years in the 
seminary at Bardstown, stated to a friend of mine 
recently, that in the whole time he never heard but 
two sermons which were not in explanation and 
defence of some point of Catholic faith. 
9* 



102 DR. BEECHER'S 

In St. Mary's College, Baltimore, 
" No books foreign to the course of 
study are SUFFERED to circulate in the 
College, unless signed by the presi- 
dent." 

In Georgetown, D. C., " The exer- 
cises of religious worship are Catholic. 
It is required that members of other 
religious denominations assist at the 
public duties of religion with their 
companions." 

At the AthenaBum, Cincinnati, "it 
is not deemed an infringement of liberty 
that all our pupils should assist together 
at religious exercises." 

At St. Joseph's College, Bardstown, 
Kentucky, the students of other deno- 
minations are received upon the sole 
condition of attending morning and 
evening prayer daily, and catechism 
and divine service on Sundays and 
holy days. 

What more could Catholics do, or 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 103 

Protestant parents permit to be done 7 
What more do Protestants do to edu- 
cate their children in the Protestant 
faith, than is avowed and permitted 
and done to convert Protestant children 
to the Catholic faith 1 and all under 
the trifling reservation of " expected 
conformity to the regulations of the 
school." 

They hold up to the ear of unreflect- 
ing credulity, the promise of non-inter- 
ference with the religion of the pupils. 
But do they promise that they will not 
by studied attention seek to gain their 
confidence and affection'? and that by 
dextrous insinuation and remark, they 
will not attempt to undermine their 
confidence in the religion of their pa- 
rents 1 That they will not heave the 
sigh nor drop the tear in their presence, 
that their parents should be heretics, 
and their beloved pupils aliens from the 
only church in which they can possi- 



104 DR. BEECHER'S 

bly be saved. If they do, then doubtless 
they break their promise. For pro- 
mises are obligatory in the sense in 
which they are known to be understood 
by those to whom they are made. 
But Catholics know that Protestants 
would not send their children to their 
schools, if they believed their children 
would be made Catholics, or their prin- 
ciples undermined and understand 
them to promise that nothing of this 
kind shall be done; while Catholics 
know that the influence under which 
the children are placed, is as wisely 
and powerfully adapted to do this as a 
system of means can be ; and by long 
experience they know and admit and 
exult in it that it produces just this 
effect, and call upon their European 
friends to aid them in rearing semina- 
ries because of their admirable influ- 
ence in conciliating Protestant children 
toward the Catholic religion. And if 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 105 

Protestants are justly punished for their 
carelessness and credulity, that is no 
justification or excuse for the disappoint- 
ments of the honest confidence which 
the Protestant community have reposed 
in these promises. 

They do promise not to interfere 
with the religion of Protestant children 
committed to their schools. But what 
do they say, when writing to their 
missionary patrons in Europe, as to the 
effect on Protestant children of this 
confidence reposed in their promises by 
their parents? 

The quotations which follow are 
translated from a French Catholic mis- 
sionary publication called the " An- 
nales," by a friend of the writer, whose 
ability and integrity are unquestioned ; 
and from a report of the doings of the 
general convention of the whole Catho- 
lic church in the United States, held in 
Baltimore. Both these publications 
were circulated among Catholics in 



106 DR. BEECHER'S 

Europe, to enkindle their missionary 
zeal and secure contributions, and fell 
accidentally into the hands of a Protes- 
tant gentleman travelling in Europe, 
by whom they were sent home for 
translation. 

" Mr. Flaget has established in his 
diocese many convents of nuns devoted 
to the education of young females. 
These establishments do wonderful 
good. Catholics and Protestants are 
admitted indiscriminately. The latter, 
after having finished their education, 
return to the bosom of their families, 
full of esteem and veneration for their 
instructresses. They are ever ready 
to refute the calumnies, which the 
jealousy of heretics loves to spread 
against the religious communities : and 
often, when they have no longer any op- 
position of their relations to 'fear , they 
embrace the Catholic religion'' 1 Quar- 
terly Register, vol. 2, 1830 page 194. 

They promise not to interfere with 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 107 

the religion of their Protestant pupils, 
and simple-hearted Protestant parents 
confide in their promises ; and thus are 
they requited by those who, it seems, 
knowingly spread the snare for their 
feet, and to their friends in Europe 
exult in their success. 

The bishop of Bardstown, Kentucky, 
says : 

" Had I treasures at my disposal, I 
would multiply colleges and schools for 
girls and boys ; I would consolidate all 
these establishments, by annexing to 
them lands or annual rents ; I would build 
hospitals and public houses : in a word, 
I would compel all MY KENTUCKIANS to 
admire and love a religion so benificent 
and generous, and perhaps I should fin- 
ish by converting them" Quarterly Re- 
gister, vol. 2, 1830 page 194. 

The next year the same bishop 
writes : 

" I have the greatest confidence we 



108 DR. BEECHER'S 

shall be able in a short time to liquidate 
our debts; and shall then have the 
opportunity of educating gratis a much 
larger number of pupils in our seminary 
for the good of the church in Kentucky." 
Quarterly Register, vol. 2, 1830 page 
195. 

Again he says : 

" Since the holy Catholic religion 
has exhibited itself in Kentucky with a 
certain splendor, since schools for 
girls and boys, into which all sects are 
admitted, have been multiplied, our 
many churches built, and our doctrine 
clearly and solidly explained in them 
on Sundays and festivals, the most hap- 
py revolution is effected in her favor. 
To the most inveterate prejudices have 
succeeded astonishment, admiration, 
and the desire of knowing our princi- 
ples. Now the conversions are nume- 
rous. In twelve jubilees, wherein I have 
presided, more than forty Protestants 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 109 

have entered the church ; a great num- 
ber still are preparing to share the same 
happiness, and I have hardly gone 
over the half of Kentucky." Quarterly 
Register, vol. 2, 1830 page 197. 

In the proceedings of the Catholic 
convention sent to the missionary pa- 
trons of -Europe, they say it was propo- 
sed to form a central seminary for the 
whole metropolitan jurisdiction where 
young persons should be educated at a 
low cost, and prepared for the functions 
of the priesthood, at a low cost, remem- 
ber, and that they especially invite in 
their seminaries Protestant pupils. In 
the same reports, they say : 

" There is also a society of men who 
do for boys what is done by the ladies 
for girls. These schools are frequented 
not only by the Catholic, but also by 
Protestant children, many of whom em- 
brace the Catholic religion, or at least 
receive impressions in its favor, which 
10 



110 DR. BEECHER'S 

they carry into the bosom of their fami- 
lies" Quarterly Register, vol. 3, 1831 
page 98. 

The Sisters of Charity began their 
establishment at Baltimore in 1809. In 
1810 they removed to Emmetsburgh, 
in Maryland. Seventy in number pro- 
fessed, or novices, and a hundred female 
boarders. 

" From that place they have sent co- 
lonies to Baltimore, Washington, Fred- 
erick, Montagne, Philadelphia, New- 
York, Albany, Harrisburgh, and St. 
Louis. In these different places, they 
receive and instruct orphans, and have 
a school for unfortunate children, the 
number of which is enormous. There 
are some schools containing from five 
to six hundred. At Baltimore, besides 
the asylum and free school, they have 
the care of the lying-in-hospital belong- 
ing to the medical school. Those of St. 
Louis have also the care of the hospital 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. Ill 

of that city. All these different branches 
are connected with a central government, 
in the parent house at Emmetsburgh. 
They form together but one body. 
They live under the rule of St. Vincent 
de Paul, with a little variation, thought 
indispensable by the ecclesiastical supe- 
riors. One of these is the boarding es- 
tablishment of the parent house, with 
the double object of giving a Christian 
education to Protestants as well as Catho- 
lics, (a want deeply felt in these regions.)" 
Quarterly Register, vol. 3, 1831- 
page 98. 

What are the motives of these Ca- 
tholics in neglecting the education of 
their own children, and extending such 
cheap and even gratuitous facilities of 
education to Protestants 1 and what is 
it which all at once has warmed the 
heart of pope and cardinals, potentates, 
princes, prime ministers and nobles, to 
endow for us Protestants such ample 



112 DR. BEECHER'S 

means of cheap instruction 1 We per- 
ceive in the preceding extracts, and the 
one which follows, what the motives 
are which the Catholics of this country, 
in their communications, press upon 
their patrons in Europe, and which 
bring out their exuberant charities. 

" The missions of America are of 
high importance to the church. The 
superabundant population of ancient 
Europe is flowing toward the United 
States. Each one arrives, not with his 
religion, but with his indifference. The 
greater part are disposed to embrace the 
doctrine, whatever it may be, which is 
first preached to them. We must make 
haste ; the moments are precious. Ame- 
rica may one day become the centre of 
civilization; and shall truth or error 
establish there its empire ? IF THE 
PROTESTANT SECTS ARE BEFOREHAND WITH 
US, IT WILL BE DIFFICULT TO DESTROY 
THEIR INFLUENCE. 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 113 

"'Mgr. Fenwick,' adds the editor, 
' is laboring with an admirable zeal to 
combat this influence of the Protestant 
sects in the mission entrusted to him. 
Numerous conversions have already 
crowned his efforts ; and he has even 
been able to establish a convent, all the 
nuns of which are Protestants, who 
have abjured their former faith.' " 
Quarterly Register, vol. 2, 1830 page 
198. 

And now, in view of these disclo- 
sures, let me ask, can a Protestant pro- 
fessor of religion, covenant to train up 
his children in the nurture and admoni- 
tion of the Lord, and then deliver them 
over to a Catholic education, and not 
violate his vow ? and can patriots 
swear to be faithful to the constitution 
of the United States, and commit the 
education of their republican children to 
Catholic schools and seminaries, and do 
no violence to their oath ? Can Jesuits 
10* 



114 DR. BEECHER'S 

and nuns, educated in Europe, and sus- 
tained by the patronage of Catholic 
powers in arduous conflict for the des- 
truction of liberty, be safely trusted to 
form the mind and opinions of the young 
hopes of this great nation 1 Is it not 
treason to commit the formation of re- 
publican children to such influences ? 

It is time to awake out of sleep on 
the subject, and that the sanction of a 
correct, concentrated, all-powerful pub- 
lic sentiment should stamp infatuation 
and shame upon it. Nothing fills the 
Catholics with such amazement and 
high hopes as the simple-hearted credu- 
lity and recklessness of Protestants, in 
committing their children to their form- 
ing hand; and nothing certainly can be 
more wonderful or more fatal in its in- 
fluence on our republican institutions. 

But, it is said, " this outcry of a con- 
spiracy to overturn our republican insti- 
tutions by immigration and ecclesiasti- 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 115 

cal influence is a false alarm. There is 
no such design." 

If there be no such design, the facts 
in the case are as adverse to our safety 
as if they were the parts of a settled 
plan. The number of the immigrants, 
who lack of information, their unac- 
quaintance with the principles of our go- 
vernment, their superstition and implicit 
confidence in their ecclesiastical teach- 
ers, and the dependence of these on 
Rome, and of Rome upon Austria, all 
constitute an influence of dangerous ac- 
tion in themselves, and offer to the pow- 
ers of Europe, easy and effectual means 
of disturbing the healthful action of our 
institutions, which, if it did escape their 
design to contrive, cannot be expected 
long to escape their sagacity to employ. 
It is like a train of powder between an 
enemy's camp and our own magazine ; 
which, though laid by accident, may not 
be expected long to escape observation 
and use. 



116 DR. BEECHER'S 

But if the civil and ecclesiastical 
powers of Europe have no such design, 
they lack the ordinary discretion and 
conduct of men in their condition, an- 
noyed and endangered, as they feel 
themselves to be, by our republican in- 
stitutions. If they have no design to 
extend their influence by ecclesiastical 
power, they have forgotten also all the 
past analogies of supposed duty, their 
faith authorizing and requiring them 
to extend the Catholic religion the 
world over, by persuasion if they can, 
and by force if they must and are able. 
And when or where has their executive 
zeal fallen in the rear of their physical 
ability. 

If they have no design, they do not 
pursue the analogy of their past policy 
in similar circumstances, which has 
been always to compensate for losses at 
home by new efforts to extend their in- 
fluence abroad. It was the boast of the 
Catholic church, when she lost half 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 117 

Europe by the Reformation, that she 
had more than compensated her loss by 
the new enterprise of her Jesuit mis- 
sionaries in India and South America. 
But during the last half century her 
power in Europe has been as much cur- 
tailed by infidelity and revolution, as 
before it had been by the Reformation. 
" The spirit of the age," which Bona- 
parte says dethroned him, is moving 
on to put an end in Europe to Catho- 
lic domination, creating the necessity 
of making reprisals abroad for what 
liberty conquers at home. Their policy 
points them to the West, the destined 
centre of civilization and political pow- 
er once their own, and embracing now 
their ancient settlements and institu- 
tions and people, and not a little wealth 
bounded on the north by a Catholic 
population, and on the south by a con- 
tinent not yet emancipated from their 
dominion, and agitated by the at pre- 



118 

sent successful conflicts of the Catholic 
priesthood to extinguish free institutions 
and reconstruct those of despotic power 
there can be no doubt that Catholi- 
cism in St. Domingo and South America 
is destined to feel the quickening ener- 
gies of the political powers of Europe, 
as the only means remaining to them 
of combating the march of liberal in- 
stitutions ; and it cannot be denied that 
those empires of superstitious mind offer 
the fairest opportunity now remaining 
to the Catholic church of making a 
stand, and perpetuating for a season 
her political and ecclesiastical dominion. 
But why is it so flippantly said, and 
so confidently believed, that there is no 
design on the part of the powers of 
Europe to annoy us by the introduction 
of a disturbing political religious influ- 
ence among us ? What can evidence 
design, if obvious and powerful motives, 
frank declaration, and the extensive 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 119 

and vigorous adaptation of means to 
the end, do not ? But American tra- 
velers at Rome and Vienna, assure us, 
that in the upper circles the enterprise 
of reducing our western states to spirit- 
ual subserviency to the see of Rome is a 
subject of avowed expectation, and high 
hope, and sanguine confidence, while 
the correspondence of the Catholic bish- 
ops and priests in this country to their 
noble and royal patrons in Europe are 
full of the same predictions and high 
hopes, as motives to their immediate 
and copious charities to establish Cath- 
olic institutions at the West. 

The bishop of Bardstown, Ken- 
tucky, says : 

" Had I treasures at my disposal, I 
would multiply colleges, and schools 
for girls and boys ; I would consolidate 
all these establishments, by annexing 
to them lands or annual rents ; I would 
build hospitals and public houses : in a 



120 DR. BEECHER'S 

word, I would compel all MY KENTUCK- 
IANS to admire and love a religion so 
beneficial and generous, and perhaps I 
should finish by converting them."* 

The bishop of Cincinnati, on the 
same page, says : 

" The missions of America are of 
high importance to the church. The 
superabundant population of ancient 
Europe is flowing toward the United 
States. Each one arrives, not with his 
religion, but with his indifference. 
The greater part are disposed to em- 
brace the doctrine, whatever it may be, 
which is first preached to them. We 
must make haste ; the moments are 
precious. America may one day be- 
come the centre of civilization ; and 
shall truth or error establish there its 
empire? IF THE PROTESTANT SECTS 

ARE BEFOREHAND WITH US, IT WILL BE 

DIFFICULT TO DESTROY THEIR INFLUENCE. 

* Quarterly Register, vol. 2, 1830 page 194. 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 121 

" l Mgr. Fenwick,' adds the editor, 
1 is laboring with an admirable zeal to 
combat this influence of the Protestant 
sects in the mission entrusted to him. 
Numerous conversions have already 
crowned his efforts ; and he has even 
been able to establish a convent, all the 
nuns of which are Protestants, who 
have abjured their former faith.' "* 

A Catholic priest, writing appa- 
rently from Cincinnati to a friend in 
Europe, says : 

" Since the Bishop's arrival, a great 
number of persons have presented 
themselves for instruction in the true 
religion. I hope, if the Lord blesses 
our efforts, we shall be able to finish 
the cathedral and found a college. 
We shall see the truth triumph, the 
temples of idols overthrown, and the 
seat of falsehood brought to silence. 
This is the reason that we conjure all 

* Quarterly Register, vol. 2, 1830 page 198. 
11 



122 DR. BEECHER'S 

the Christians of Europe (i. e, all the 
Catholics) to unite in order to ask of 
God the conversion of those unhappy 
infidels or heretics. What a happiness, 
if by our feeble labors and our vows, 
we shall so merit as to see the sava- 
ges of this diocese civilized, and all 
the United States embraced in the 
same unity of the Catholic church, in 
which dwells truth and temporal hap- 
piness."* 

Bishop England, in his late address 
to the clergy of his diocese, on his 
return from Rome, speaking of the pre- 
lates of the church of Ireland, says : 

" They are ready, as far as our 
hierarchy shall require their co-opera- 
tion, to give it their best exertions in 
selecting and forwarding, from amongst 
the numerous aspirants to the sacred 
ministry that are found in the island of 
saints, a sufficient number of those 

* Quarterly Register, vol. 2, 1830 page 198. 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 123 

properly qualified to supply our defi- 
ciencies." 

Such is the language employed by 
Catholics in this country, to stimulate 
the hopes and efforts of Catholics in 
Europe, and especially the royal pa- 
trons of the three powerful missionary 
societies one at Rome, the other at 
Vienna, and the third in France but 
the centres, no doubt, of correspondence 
throughout Catholic Europe, and the 
reservoirs of her copious charities. We 
have accidentally fallen upon the items 
of fifty thousand dollars in one dona- 
tion, and sixty thousand in another, and 
twenty thousand, besides the frequent 
recognition in their correspondence of 
efficacious aid, the amount of which ifr 
not named. 

Bishop England says : 

"During my absence, I have not 
been negligent of the concerns of this 
diocese. I have endeavored to interest 



124 DR. BEECHER'S 

in its behalf several eminent and digni- 
fied personages whom I had the good 
fortune to meet ; and have continued to 
impress with a conviction of the pro- 
priety of continuing their generous aid, 
the administration of those societies 
from which it has previously received 
valuable succor. In Paris and at 
Lyons I have conversed with those 
excellent men who manage the affairs 
of the association for propagating the 
faith. This year their grant to this 
diocese has been larger than usual. I 
have also had opportunities of commu- 
nication with some of the Council 
which administers the Austrian associ- 
ation ; they continue to feel an interest 
in our concerns. The Propaganda in 
Rome, though greatly embarrassed, 
owing to the former plunder of its funds 
by rapacious infidels, has this year 
contributed to our extraordinary ex- 
penditure ; as has the holy father him- 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 125 

self, in the kindest manner, from the 
scanty stock which constitutes his 
private allowance." 

But we need not the list of donations. 
The results that are starting up before 
our eyes, as if by magic, lift the veil, 
and discover that a portion of the re- 
sources which potentates once squan- 
dered in war are beginning to be appro- 
priated in munitions for the moral con- 
flict the battle of institutions and 
that the field of battle is the American 
republic, and especially the West. 

Four years ago the Catholic popu- 
lation was estimated at half a million, 
and in the single year of 1832 one hun- 
dred and fifty thousand were added, and 
the numbers every year since have 
greatly increased, and the Catholics 
predict still greater numbers the cur- 
rent and coming years. A great pro- 
portion of them are poor ; and though 
in various forms an oppressive taxation 



126 DR. BEECHER'S 

swallows up all the earnings they do 
not consume or squander, the revenue 
fails, it is said, by the Catholics them- 
selves, to support their clergy. Their 
multiplied and multiplying institutions, 
cathedrals of royal splendor, and colle- 
ges, and nunneries, and cheap schools, 
and free schools rise therefore to attest 
the sincerity and energy of political Eu- 
ropean patronage. 

But the numerical power, without 
augmentation, would be too small to 
accomplish the end ; and, therefore, 
Catholic Europe is throwing swarm on 
swarm upon our shores. They come, 
also, not undirected. There is evidently 
a supervision abroad and one here 
by which they come, and set down to- 
gether, in city or country, as a Catholic 
body, and are led or followed quickly 
by a Catholic priesthood, who maintain 
over them in the land of strangers and 
unknown tongues an ascendency as 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 127 

absolute as they are able to exert in 
Germany itself. 

Their embodied and insulated con- 
dition, as strangers of another tongue, 
and their unacquaintance with Protes- 
tants, and prejudices against them, and 
their fears and implicit obedience of 
their priesthood, and aversion to instruc- 
tion from book, or tract, or Bible, but 
with their consent, tend powerfully to 
prevent assimilation and perpetuate the 
principles of a powerful cast. Hence, 
while Protestant children, with unceas- 
ing assiduity, are gathered into Catholic 
schools, their own children, with a vigi- 
lance that never sleeps, and is upon them 
both when they go out and come in, and 
is conversant with all their ways, are 
kept extensively from Sabbath schools, 
from our republican common schools, 
and from worship in Protestant families, 
and from all such alliance of affection 
as might supplant the control of the 



128 DR. BEECHER'S 

priesthood over them; so, that, as the 
bishop of Cincinnati said, to a Protes- 
tant, " We multiply by securing all our 
Catholic children, so that every family 
in process of time becomes six." 

If they associated with republicans, 
the power of caste would wear away. 
If they mingled in our schools, the re- 
publican atmosphere would impregnate 
their minds. If they scattered, unas- 
sociated, the attrition of circumstances 
would wear off their predilections and 
aversions. If they could read the Bible, 
and might and did, their darkened in- 
tellect would brighten, and their bowed 
down mind would rise. If they dared 
to think for themselves, the contrast of 
Protestant independence with their 
thraldom, would awaken the desire of 
equal privileges, and put an end to an 
arbitrary clerical dominion over trem- 
bling superstitious minds. If the pope 
and potentates of Europe held no do- 






PLEA FOR THE WEST. 129 

minion over ecclesiastics here, we might 
trust to time and circumstances to miti- 
gate their ascendency and produce as- 
similation. But for conscience sake and 
patronage, they are dependent on the 
powers that be across the deep, by 
whom they are sustained and nurtured ; 
and receive and organize all who come, 
and retain all who are born ; while by 
argument, and a Catholic education, 
they beguile the children of credulous 
unsuspecting Protestants into their own 
communion. 

No design ! How does it happen that 
their duty, and the analogy of their past 
policy, and their profession in Europe, 
and their predictions and exultation in 
this country, and their deeds, all well 
adapted to their end, should come to- 
gether accidentally with such admirable 
indications of design ? If such compli- 
cated indications of design may exist 
without design, as well may the broader 



130 DR. BEECHER'S 

mechanism of the world be regarded as 
the offspring of chance. 

Had the Catholic power of the holy 
alliance declared their purpose in due 
time to subdue us by force, and sent out 
fleets, with munitions and men and offi- 
cers, in bright array to move through 
the land, seizing passes, fortifying emi- 
nences, and every where rearing bar- 
racks, arsenals and forts, and military 
schools for the gratuitous instruction of 
our sons, the evidence of a designed 
assault would not surpass the prepara- 
tions for our subjection by a conflict of 
institutions. 

They do design the subversion of our 
institutions ; so far as a Catholic ascen- 
dency of literary institutions and eccle- 
siastical and political influence would be 
their subversion ; and according to their 
views they ought to, for their time or 
ours is short. If our light continues, their 
darkness passes away ; and if our pros- 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 131 



perity continues, their overturnings can- 
not be stopped till revolution has traveled 
round the globe, and the earth is free. 

It is said again, " the conspiracy, if 
real, to overthrow our republic by immi- 
gration and a foreign religion, is impo- 
tent and chimerical a thing which can- 
not be done." 

Indeed ! Is our republic, then, so ma- 
ture, and solid, and strong, as to bid de- 
fiance to peril ? Our wisest men have 
regarded its preservation, when formed 
of native citizens, only as an experiment, 
urged on by high hopes, indeed, and 
strenuous efforts, but amid stupendous 
difficulties, and not yet consummated. 
And though hitherto our ship has weath- 
ered every storm, has it been accom- 
plished with such ease and safety as to 
justify the proud contempt of greater 
dangers ? 

Nothing is more easy than the per- 
version of associated mind ; or difficult, 



132 DR. BEECHER'S 

than its recovery to sanity and a health- 
ful self-government. To let out the 
storm, and roll up the angry wave, is 
easy; but to still the tumult of the peo- 
ple lies often only within the reach of 
that power which holds the winds, and 
stilleth the tumult of the sea. We have 
surmounted past difficulties also by 
means of a comparative homogenity of 
character, opinions and interests, the 
result of our colonial training and revo- 
lutionary struggle, and while the ship 
was navigated by those who aided in 
her construction and launching. But 
another generation has arisen ; and great 
difficulties are yet to be encountered, 
demanding equal wisdom, unity, and 
firmness, and decision, and rendering the 
accumulation of a powerful adverse in- 
fluence justly alarming. And of all 
others, a religious influence, in the hands 
of ecclesiastics, and perverted to pur- 
poses of secular intrigue and political 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 133 

intermeddling, is most to be feared. 
While religion, pure and undefiled, is as 
indispensable to the perfection of society 
and the propitious results of government, 
as the sun is to light, and order, and ve- 
getation, and life, it becomes such only 
by being kept in its own department, 
to send out through all relations its 
mild, purifying, tranquilizing, but mighty 
and all-pervading energy. But it is too 
much for one class of men to unite in 
the same hands the power of both 
worlds. Instead of coalescing, they 
should be vigilantly and efficaciously 
kept apart. 

With sincere approbation and thanks- 
giving to God, I regard the article of 
our constitution prohibiting forever an 
alliance of any church with the state. 
And though I regard as needless and 
just, the constitutional exclusion of the 
clergy in some states from eligibility to 
office, as if the people were incompetent 
12 



DR. EEECHER'S 

to be trusted in the selection of their 
own servants ; yet did I believe that 
they were incompetent, and that they 
would not as a general fact confine the 
clergy to their own vocation, I should 
much prefer that the exclusion had been 
universal. For I have never witnessed 
a clergyman active in the collision of 
party politics, or absorbed in secular 
cares of legislation, without feeling and 
perceiving that others felt, that the man 
was out of his place, and religion dis- 
graced.* 

* No doubt such avowals will surprise many, 
who have been led to suppose that the writer, and 
the Congregational and Presbyterian denominations 
with which he has been associated, are in the van of 
ambitious desire, and sinister intrigue, and unholy 
plotting to compass a union of church and state in 
their own behalf. I have only to say, that the sen- 
timents on this subject avowed in this discourse, are 
the sentiments of my whole life, and the regulators 
of my conduct ; and have been repeatedly, in 
various forms, published within the last ten years ; 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 135 

The purse and the sword includes 
too much power to be united in the 
same hands. But how is the peril aug- 
mented when both these, with the sanc- 
tions of God's eternal government, are 
concentrated in clerical hands, and di- 
rected to political purposes, in the gov- 
ernment of nations. Such a priesthood, 
as a body, cannot be spiritual, or pure, 
or safe, but always has been, and always 

and are in accordance with the views of the great 
body of the Congregational and Presbyterian minis- 
ters whom I now know, and have ever known. 
Should any, however, be still troubled in mind at 
the apprehension of our .machinations, they may 
well be tranquilized if they will search the records 
of legislation and political office in this nation, and 
in all the states, and witness how harmless and im- 
potent our intrigues must have been to secure either 
legislative power or official trust ; and how large a 
portion of popular and governmental favor has fallen, 
happily for us, as I think, upon clerical men without 
the sphere of the Congregational and Presbyterian 
denominations. 



136 



DR. BEECHER'S 



will be, a corrupt and intriguing priest- 
hood, perverting its spiritual power over 
the consciences of men, to the control 
of their physical and civil action in ac- 
cordance with his own will and the 
purposes of a despotic government. 

The history of five hundred years 
attests the baleful influence which one 
of the feeblest political powers of Eu- 
rope has been able to exert upon the 
governments around him, by his spirit- 
ual dominion over the consciences of 
their subjects. There never was a time 
when the pope could by the power of 
arms control the policy of surrounding 
nations ; and yet for ages, by the terrors 
of his spiritual power over the con- 
sciences of their dark-minded subjects, 
he bound kings in chains and princes in 
fetters of iron, because, if they diso- 
beyed his will, he could by his power 
over the consciences of their subjects, 
in a moment blast them with a curse 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 



137 



and interdict, which would cause them 
to be shunned like leprous men, or sent 
out like Nebuchadnezzar to graze 
among oxen. It is the spiritual power 
of the pope over the civil destiny of na- 
tions, through the medium of his priest- 
hood and the consciences of men, which 
has in all periods rendered the election 
of the pope a subject of such high interest 
and earnest competition and intrigue 
by the different nations of Europe. 

By the Reformation, half Europe 
was disenthralled from the action of 
this dreadful power. And the exten- 
sion of commerce and the arts, the illu- 
mination of science, the power of scep- 
ticism, and the advance of liberal opin- 
ions and of revolution and reform, have 
done much in Germany, Switzerland, 
France, Spain, and Portugal, to annihi- 
late this power of religion, perverted to 
secular ends. But in Austria, and Bo- 
hemia, and Ireland, the spell is not bro- 
12* 



138 DR. BEECHER'S 

ken ; and the perverted power of both 
worlds is concentrated to darken and 
enslave mind, and perpetuate civil and 
ecclesiastical despotism ; while in the 
nations named, there are millions upon 
millions, whose physical and civil action 
can be controlled by the influence of 
their priesthood, through the medium of 
their religion, as implicitly, and as ac- 
curately as the soldiers of Frederick 
could be moved to fight his battles. 

But it is notorious, that the Catholic 
immigrants to this country are generally 
of the class least enlightened, and most 
implicit in their religious subjection to 
the priesthood, who are able, by their 
spiritual ascendency, to direct easily 
and infallibly the exercise of their civil 
rights and political action. And it were 
easy to show, were this the time and 
place, that they do interfere in the ex- 
action of fees, in the control of children, 
and in the article of marriage, as no 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 139 

Protestant minister ever did or would 
dare to attempt; and that a secular in- 
fluence is beginning to be exerted over 
the political action of their dependent, 
confiding people. 

And is there no danger from a popu- 
lation of nearly a million, augmenting 
at the rate of two or three hundred thou- 
sand a year by immigration ; whose phys- 
ical power, and property, and vote, are, 
as entirely as in Europe, within the reach 
of clerical influence ? Is it, then, a vain 
hope of European potentates, endan- 
gered by our free institutions, that they 
shall be able to clog, and perplex, and 
stop their movements by thrusting in 
such a disturbing force, rearing up in 
fact a distinct nation of their own sub- 
jects, organized and wielded by them, 
in the midst of us 1 Is a perverted reli- 
gious power so feeble and innoxious, 
that its threatened agency in our politi- 
cal movements is to be slept over or 



140 DR. BEECHER'S 

despised ? Religion is the most power- 
ful, dreadful cause, when perverted, 
which ever mingled a malignant influ- 
ence in the politics of nations ? But for 
the alliance of religion with the state, 
and the intrigues and power of the 
priesthood, Europe had been for ages 
comparatively tranquil, instead of being, 
like a volcano, in continued action, or a 
ship in battle, in a constant blaze. 

How dreadful were the wars of the 
Reformation in Europe, and the civil 
wars which followed, which could at 
any time have been quenched, but that 
a perverted religious zeal inflamed them. 
The politics of the nation could at any 
time have been adjusted, but the religion 
never. Far, far from us be the plague of 
that burning which will break out and 
rage among us as it never raged on 
earth, should a perverted religious influ- 
ence introduce among us this curse of 
nations. For holy as religion is, all the 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 141 

bad passions gather about its perverted 
standard, and under the sanctions of its 
hallowed name, and by all the aug- 
mented motives of eternity, let loose the 
malignant passion of the desperately 
wicked heart. 

And let me ask again, whether the 
Catholic religion in its union with the 
state, has proved itself so unambitious, 
meek, and unaspiring so feeble, and 
easy to be entreated, as to justify a 
proud contempt of its avowed purpose 
and systematic movements to secure an 
ascendency in this nation ? Is it acci- 
dental that in alliance with despotic 
governments, it has swayed a sceptre of 
iron, for ten centuries, over nearly one 
third of the population of the globe, and 
by a death of violence is estimated to 
have swept from the earth about sixty- 
eight millions of its inhabitants, and 
holds now in darkness and bondage 
nearly half the civilized world 1 



142 DR. BEECHER'S 

In all this long career of evil it is 
not the personal character of individu- 
als which perverted the system and sent 
out the results, but the system which 
perverted personal character. It was 
the energy of an absolute spiritual do- 
minion in corrupt alliance with political 
despotism displaying their perverting 
power and acting out their own nature. 
It is the most skillful, powerful, dreadful 
system of corruption to those who wield 
it and of debasement and slavery to 
those who live under it, which ever 
spread darkness and desolation over 
the earth. 

And yet over all its track of blood 
it has thrown the exterior of high devo- 
tion, great sanctity, and eminent purity 
and benevolence. It boasts a venerable 
antiquity, and claims a lineal descent 
from primitive Christianity, and blazons 
on its roll of fame the names of many 
holy and illustrious men. Some of its 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 143 

doctrines are true, and some of its in- 
stitutions are wise, and the self-denial 
and good deeds of some of its clergy 
and sisters of charity, in the visitation 
of the sick and the education of the 
poor, are worthy of imitation. But it 
is a religion exclusive in its claims and 
awful in its sanctions, and terrific in its 
power of declaring sins remitted or re- 
tained. By the confessional it searches 
the heart, lea-rns the thoughts, and mo- 
tives, and habits, and condition of indi- 
viduals and families, and thus acquires 
the means of an unlimited ascendency 
over mind by the united influence of 
both worlds. It is majestic and impo- 
sing in its ceremonies, dazzling by its 
lights and ornaments, vestments and 
gorgeous drapery, and fascinating by the 
power of music and the breathing mar- 
ble and living canvas, and all the di- 
versified contributions of art strong in 
the patronage of the great, and the 



144 DR. BEECHER'S 

power of wealth and the versatilities of 
art, and unlimited in its powers of ac- 
commodation to the various characters, 
tastes, and conditions of men. For the 
profound, it has metaphysics and philos- 
ophy the fine arts for men of taste, 
and wealth, and fashion signs and 
wonders for the superstitious forbear- 
ance for the sceptic toleration for the 
liberal, who eulogize and aid her cause 
enthusiasm for the ardent -lenity for 
the voluptuous, and severity for the 
austere fanaticism for the excited, and 
mysticism for moody musing. For the 
formalist, rites and ceremonies for the 
moral, the merit of good works, and for 
those who are destitute, the merits of 
the saints at accommodating prices 
for the poor, penance extreme unction 
for the dying, and masses for the spirits 
in prison, who, by donation, or testa- 
ment, or by their friends, provide the 
requisite ransom. 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 145 

This is the religion so powerful in 
the combined energies of earth and 
heaven "so dextrous in their applica- 
tion so gigantic in its past energies 
so enslaving and terrible in its recorded 
deeds, and yet in its present appearance, 
so mild, meek, unassuming, and muni- 
ficent, which is coming in among us, a 
comparative stranger the records of 
its history denied, or forgotten, or cov- 
ered by a charity that would belt the 
zones, and span the earth coming by 
numbers to outnumber us, and by votes 
to outvote us, and by the competitions 
of European munificence to secure aa 
ascendant influence in the education of 
the young republicans of our nation. 

This religion is wielded by a priest- 
hood educated, for the most part, in the 
despotic governments of Europe, of re- 
cent naturalization and retaining the 
ecclesiastical and political partialities 
of their country and early associations. 
13 



146 DR. BEECHER'S 

Were they allied to us by family and 
ties of blood, like the ministry of all 
other denominations, there would be 
less to be feared, and common interests 
would produce gradually but certainly 
an unreluctant assimilation. But as it 
is, they stand out from society, a sepa- 
rate, insulated male ecclesiastical asso- 
ciation, with property and interests pe- 
culiarly their own; with an irresponsible 
and despotic power over the conscien- 
ces, and physical and civil action of 
numbers, quite too great and influential 
for the safety of republican institutions, 
where every thing depends on the free 
and enlightened action of public senti- 
ment. 

This anti-republican tendency of 
clerical influence is augmented in our 
nation, by the fact that the control of 
suffrage, and secular patronage, and 
education, and power of conscience, is 
under the predominant influence of the 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 147 

society of Jesuits ; an order of men as- 
sociated at the reformation, to stay its 
progress, and sustain and extend the 
cause of the Papacy clothed with high 
privileges and devoted by oath to im- 
plicit obedience to his holiness possess- 
ing the advantages of an efficient or- 
ganization, and the energy of a despotic 
will, equal to the control of a com- 
mander-in-chief over every officer and 
private in his army, and wielding the 
power which belongs to talent, learning, 
wealth, numbers, and a deep knowledge 
of human nature, and the means of 
touching dextrously every spring of ac- 
tion, and securing every complexity of 
movement for religious and political 
purposes trained as courtiers, confes- 
sors, teachers, diplomatists, saints, spies, 
and working men, to influence and con- 
trol the destiny of nations, and guided 
also by a morality which permits the 
end to sanctify the means. An asso- 



148 DR. BEECHER'S 

elation of more moral and political 
power than was ever concentrated on 
the earth twice suppressed as too for- 
midable for the crowned despotism of 
Europe, and an overmatch for his holi- 
ness himself and twice restored as 
indispensable to the waning power of 
the holy see. And now with the ad- 
vantages of its past mistakes and ex- 
perience, this order is in full organiza- 
tion, silent, systematized, un watched, 
and unresisted action among us, to try 
the dexterity of its movements, and the 
potency of its power upon unsuspecting, 
charitable, credulous republicans. 

That the Jesuits will ever regain 
their former ascendency is not to be 
apprehended ; but is no influence of their 
secret organization and intrigue, short 
of its former terrific energy, to be 
feared ? Was ever a more ample field 
for intrigue opened before them than 
our country presents, or more accessi- 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 149 

ble and unwatched, or filled with ma- 
terials more powerfully adapted to per- 
plex the movements of our government, 
and make confusion worse confounded 7 

Doubtless, the Catholic religion can 
never acquire a permanent ascendency 
in this nation by force, and a formal 
union of church and state ; but a king- 
dom or nation divided against itself is 
brought to desolation. And is it impos- 
sible to embody such an amount of 
Catholic influence by copious immigra- 
tion, and unity of action, and Jesuit 
intrigue, as to divide us 1 Is the task 
so impossible, or difficult, as to throw 
contempt upon the systematized action 
of an order of men, once the most pow- 
erful that ever conspired against liberty, 
or held competition with despotic pow- 
ers ? 

Were we all, as Americans and re- 
publicans, apprised of the danger, and 
united in mild and efficient measures, 
13* 



150 DR. BEECHER'S 

it would still be a subject of deep in- 
terest and great difficulty. If none 
were indiscreet and violent, and none 
sympathized with the Catholics, as 
abused and persecuted, and none from 
a greater hatred of the Protestant than 
the Catholic religion and none from 
secular interest, and political favoritism, 
sympathized with them, the floods of 
unprepared, confiding mind, rolling in 
upon us to augment the power of a 
Jesuit priesthood, might well awaken 
solicitude and demand circumspection. 
But who can preclude, in so exciting 
and delicate an emergency, all but wise 
councils and discreet action, or prevent 
the affinities of prejudice, and hate, and 
political ambition from gathering nom- 
inal Protestants about the Catholic 
standard ; and who can abide the day, 
should the politics of this nation become 
perplexed and infuriated with the viru- 
lence of a religious controversy. 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 151 

It is true that Catholicity in Europe 
is on the retreat before the march of 
liberal opinions and institutions ; but it 
is no less true that it is still, in numbers, 
wealth, and political dominion over 
mind, a terrible power, and precisely 
such an enemy as has often given a 
desperate battle; and inspiration teaches 
that the dying struggles of this system 
will be among the most gigantic and 
terrible, and such are the existing prog- 
nostics of its destiny. 

If^the Catholic religion were simply 
an insulated system of religious error, 
it might be expected to fade away with- 
out a struggle before the augmenting, 
overpowering light of truth ; but it has 
always been, and still is, a political re- 
ligion, a religion of state; and though 
its ambitious encroachments reconciled 
the potentates of Europe to its waning 
power, the experience of the last thirty 
years has taught them, that they have 
overacted in the humiliation of his holi- 



152 DR. BEECHER'S 

ness and the church, that her downfall 
opens the door to revolution and the 
march of liberty, that the Catholic 
church is as indispensable to the throne, 
as the throne is to the church, and that 
without her influence over mind, they 
cannot meet and stem the spirit of the 
age ; and now they are beginning, with 
new decision, to rally again around the 
church, and to give to her their secu- 
lar aid, while she repays them by the 
energy of her spiritual dominion over 
mind. 

Hence it is, that under the auspices 
of the Greek church, the emperor of 
Russia declares, " as long as I live, I 
will oppose a will of iron to the pro- 
gress of liberal opinions," and has pre- 
scribed to the ill-fated Poles a catechism 
in equal quantities of despotism and 
blasphemy. 

The empire of Austria is also her- 
metically sealed against the admission 
of light. 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 153 

A late intelligent American traveler 
in Austria, says : 

"And what are the people of Austria 1 
They are slaves, slaves in body and 
mind, whipped and disciplined by priests 
to have no opinion of their own, and 
taught to consider their emperor their 
God. They are the jest and by- word 
of the northern Germans, who never 
speak of Austrians but with a sneer, 
and " as slaves unworthy the name of 
Germans ; as slaves both mentally and 
physically."* 

In accordance with this Austrian 
policy of keeping out the light and 
maintaining the empire of darkness, his 
present holiness, pope Gregory XVI, 
lamenting, in 1832, the disorders and 
infidelity of the times, says : 

" From this polluted fountain of 
' Indifference,' flows that absurd and 
erroneous doctrine, or rather raving, in 
* Dwight, 



154 DR. JBEECHER'S 

favor and defence of ' liberty of con- 
science;' for which most pestilential 
error, the course is opened for that en- 
tire and wild liberty of opinion, which 
is every where attempting the over- 
throw of religious and civil institutions ; 
and which the unblushing impudence 
of some has held forth as an advantage 
to religion. Hence that pest, of all others 
most to be dreaded in a state, unbri- 
dled liberty of opinion, licentiousness of 
speech, and a lust of novelty, which, 
according to the experience of all ages, 
portend the downfall of the most pow- 
erful and flourishing empires." 

" Hither tends that worst and never 
sufficiently to be execrated and detested 
LIBERTY OF THE PRESS, for the diffusion 
of all manner of writings, which some 
so loudly contend for, and so actively 
promote." 

He complains, too, of the dissemina- 
tion of unlicensed books. 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 155 

" No means must be here omitted, 
says Clement XIII.) our predecessor of 
happy memory, in the Encyclical Letter 
on the proscription of bad books ' no 
means must be here omitted, as the ex- 
tremity of the case calls for all our 
exertions, to exterminate the fatal pest 
which spreads through so many works ; 
nor can the materials of error be other- 
wise destroyed than by thejlames, which 
consume the depraved elements of the 
evil.' " 

And to aid him in the work of burn- 
ing liberal books and crushing the efforts 
of patriots to break their chains and 
secure liberty, Austrian bayonets are 
placed at his disposal. 

" In the year 1828 the celebrated 
Frederick Schlegel, one of the most 
distinguished literary men of Europe, 
delivered lectures at Vienna on the 
Philosophy of History, (which have not 
been translated into English,) a great 



DR. BEECHER'S 

object of which is to show the mutual 
support which Popery and Monarchy 
derive from each other. He commends 
the two systems in connection as de- 
serving of universal reception. He at- 
tempts to prove that sciences, and arts, 
and all the pursuits of man as an intel- 
lectual being, are best promoted under 
this perfect system of church and state ; 
a Pope at the head of the former ; an 
Emperor at the head of the latter. He 
contrasts with this, the system of Pro- 
testantism ; represents Protestantism as 
the enemy of good government, as the 
ally of Republicanism, as the parent 
of the distresses of Europe, as the cause 
of all the disorders with which legiti- 
mate governments are afflicted. In the 
close of lecture 17th, vol. ii. p. 286, he 
thus speaks of this country : ' The TRUE 
NURSERY of all these destructive princi- 
ples, the REVOLUTIONARY SCHOOL for 

France and the rest of Europe, has been 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 

NORTH AMERICA. Thence the evil has 
spread over many other lands, either by 
natural contagion, or by arbitrary com- 



" But who is Frederick Schlegel ? 
He may be a great scholar, but what is 
his situation that so much weight is to 
be attached to his opinions 1 I will 
give my readers a brief account of 
him, abridged from the Encyclopedia 
Americana, (edited by a German) suf- 
ficient to enable them to judge if too 
much stress is laid upon his opinions. 
: Frederick Schlegel, (one of the great 
literary stars of Germany) went over 
to the Catholic faith, at Cologne, and 
in the year 1800 repaired to Vienna. 
In 1809 he received an appointment at 
the head quarters of Arch Duke Charles, 
where he drew up several powerful 
proclamations. When peace was con- 
cluded, he again delivered lectures in 
Vienna on modern History and the 
14 



158 DR. BEECHER'S 

literature of all nations. In 1812, he 
published the German Museum, and 
gained the confidence of Prince Metter- 
nich by various diplomatic papers, in 
consequence of ivhich he was appointed 
Austrian counsellor of legation at the 
diet in Frankfort. In 1818 he returned 
to Vienna, where he lived as SECRE- 
TARY OF THE COURT and COUNSELLOR OF 
LEGATION, and published a view of the 
Present Political relations [of Austria] 
and his complete works.' In 1828 he 
delivered his lectures on the Philosophy 
of History, in which his views as I have 
stated them are fully developed. 

" This is the man whose opinions on 
the relation of Popery and Monarchy, 
and Protestantism and Republicanism, 
and of the influence of the United 
States, have been followed by the ac- 
tion of the Austrians, in the formation 
of the St. Leopold foundation. He was. 
part and parcel of the government ; he 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 159 

Was ONE OF THE AUSTRIAN CABINET, 
THE CONFIDENTIAL COUNSELLOR OF PRINCE 
METTERNICH.''* 

It is doubtless in the exertion of this 
plan of resuscitating the Catholic reli- 
gion on account of its political subser- 
viency to the thrones of Europe, that 
St. Domingo is coming into remem- 
brance, and that efforts are making to 
establish in that island the spiritual 
dominion of a Catholic priesthood ; and 
that in all the South American conti- 
nent the cause of liberty is on the wane, 
before the united influence of military 
chieftains and the Catholic priesthood. 

All the signs of the times indicate 
the coming on of that next European 
conflict of which prophetic Canning 
spoke, as long and dreadful, a war of 
opinion a war of liberty against des- 
potism, and which is to terminate in the 

* Preface to " Foreign Conspiracy" pages 17, 
18, and 19. 



160 DR. BEECHER'S 

emancipation or hopeless bondage of 
the world. 

In this view of the subject, the 
Catholicity of this nation, and its rapid 
increase, cannot be safely regarded as 
a mere insulated religion, but rather as 
one department of a comprehensive ef- 
fort to maintain despotic government 
against the march of free institutions, 
by an invigorated union of ecclesiasti- 
cal and political power ; and though the 
Catholics among us may, as a body, be 
unapprized of this policy, and ought not 
to be reviled, or denounced, or falsely 
accused, or assailed by rumor, and in- 
vidious epithets, neither are they to be 
unwatched, or entrusted with the edu- 
cation of the nation, or the balance of 
her suffrage. 

No opinion is more unfounded or 
pernicious than the one so often ex- 
pressed, that the Catholic church stands 
on the same foundation, in respect to 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 161 

its republican tendencies, with all the 
other religious denominations in our 
land. There is no denomination but 
the Catholic which acknowledges im- 
plicit subjection to the spiritual domin- 
ion of a foreign prince in whom the 
church and state are united, and whose 
political relations modify, by the in- 
trigues of the European powers, his 
ecclesiastical decisions a prince de- 
pendent on the protection, and under 
the control of one of the most despotic 
governments of Europe. There is no 
church but the Catholic in our land 
which claims infallibility, and the right 
of a universal spiritual jurisdiction, and 
makes heresy a capital offence, punish- 
able with political disfranchisement and 
with torture and death none whose 
clergy are chiefly foreigners, dependent 
for investiture, and honor, and support,* 

* The bishop of Kentucky, writing to Europe, 
says : " Generally, we ought to consider all the 

14* 



162 DR. BEECHER'S 

on a foreign jurisdiction, and whose 
most active correspondence, and strong- 
est sympathies, and most powerful mo- 
tives of action, lie abroad and cluster 
about thrones, and dominions, and prin- 
cipalities, and powers, adverse to our 
institutions none which claims and 
exercises the right of inhibiting the 
reading of the Bible but with express 
permission of a priest, and denounces 
the right of private interpretation, and 
inculcates, wholly, the obligation of 
believing implicitly as popes and coun- 
cils have believed. There is in this 
country, beside the Catholic, no denom- 
ination, any principles of whose religion 
are anti-republican, or whose influen- 
tial officers denounce republican insti- 

bishoprics of America as sees destitute of all re- 
sources, which can never be solidly established 
unless, for half a century, they are aided by rich 
and pious souls in Europe." Quarterly Register, 
vol. 2. p. 196. 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 163 

tutions, free inquiry, and the liberty of 
the press, as they have been denounced 
by the reigning pope, and opposed by 
Catholic potentates of Europe none 
which makes the confidential confes- 
sion of sin to a priest indispensable to 
forgiveness, or claims the right of selling 
indulgences for sins past, or to come 
of selling prayers for the deliverance of 
souls from purgatory none whose in- 
terests are in the hands of a secret as- 
sociation of men, bound by oath to 
obey, implicitly, his holiness in the pro- 
pagation of the Catholic religion the 
most powerful secret organization that 
ever existed, and now sustained by the 
royal munificence of European Catho- 
lics, and occupied in rearing powerful 
institutions for the education of our sons 
and daughters. There is in this country 
no religion but the Catholic which 
claims the right of interfering with the 
political affairs of nations by the inter- 



164 DR. BEECHER'S 

position of ecclesiastical authority, re- 
leasing subjects from their oaths of alle- 
giance, and putting down and setting 
up the powers that be, or who have 
manifested a desire, or commenced the 
attempt, by the exclusion of lay trus- 
tees, to secure all church property in 
ecclesiastical hands. 

Among the deliberations of the late 
Catholic convention, at Baltimore, they 
say, in their European correspondence, 
that one subject of consideration was, 

" What is necessary to be done in 
regard to trustees, and the means of re- 
pressing their pretensions ? It is known 
what disputes and scandals have arisen 
on this subject, and, it may be said, it 
is one of the greatest scourges of the 
church in the United States ; and one 
of the priests, writing to a mutual friend 
in Europe, says : ' The bishop has the 
happiness of governing his churches 
without church wardens. By this me- 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 165 

thod you see we are at peace, although 
without help. Were we to establish 
them, they might be very useful to us ; 
but we should fear schisms and dissen- 
sions; of all evils the greatest despo- 
tism exercised against the pastors, and 
division and disorder in many other 
churches, assure us fully of this. Better 
then is poverty and dependence on the 
charity of the faithful, than tyranny.' "* 

The desire seems here to be avowed 
of securing the entire property of the 
Catholic church in the United States, 
by some means, in the hands of the 
clergy, regarding the inspection and in- 
fluence of lay trustees, even though 
Catholics, as tending to schisms, despo- 
tism against the pastors, and constitu- 
ting one of the greatest scourges of the 
church. 

But it 'is said the Catholic religion 
is not what it used to be, the claims and 

* Quarterly Register, vol. 3. pp. 91 and 96. 



166 DR. BBECHER'S 

dogmas, and bigotry, and persecuting 
maxims, and superstitions of the Catho- 
lic church have passed away. She has 
felt the spirit of the age, and yielded to 
its demands, and henceforth, and espe- 
cially in this country, we have to anti- 
cipate only a revised and corrected edi- 
tion of the Catholic church. 

As republicans and Christians, we 
certainly hail the day when the Catho- 
lic church shall be reformed, and we are 
not reluctant to believe, on proper evi- 
dence, that the Catholics of this country 
perceive and renounce the past unscrip- 
tural and anti-republican claims, max- 
ims, and deeds of the church of Rome. 
We only desire that their professions 
and disclaimers should not be received 
in evidence that the Roman church is 
reformed, till the same authority which 
enacted her erroneous maxims and au- 
thorized the unchristian conduct, has 
conceded her fallibility and repealed 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 167 

the criminal decisions of her popes and 
councils, and professed repentance for 
her evil deeds, and made proclamation 
that she admits her members to rights of 
conscience, and free inquiry, and civil 
liberty ; but so long as the infallibility 
of the church is claimed, and all her 
maxims remain unrepealed, and are 
rigidly enforced wherever the march 
of liberal opinions has not compelled a 
relaxation. Such disclaimers can be 
regarded only as evidence of what ne- 
cessity extorts and expediency dictates, 
and the accommodating policy of the 
church has always permitted to her 
loyal sons. 

Who is it then that makes the pro- 
clamation, that the Catholic Church 
has discovered her mistakes in past 
ages and is reformed 1 Has the pope 
announced it 1 Has the general council 
decreed it 1 Has the Catholic conven- 
tion at Baltimore placed it upon their 



168 DR. BEECHER'S 

records ? Has a single Catholic bishop 
or priest admitted or claimed that the 
Catholic church has been, by the proper 
authorities, revised and corrected in any 
material point of doctrine, discipline, or 
practice. Not one and no Catholic 
will say it, who has any character to 
Jose, or frowns to fear from superior 
power. 

The church cannot be reformed as a 
church only by the pope and a general 
council. The question of revision and 
change is therefore simply a matter of 
historical fact. When, where, and in 
what respect^, has the pope and a gene- 
ral council changed the claims, maxims, 
doctrines, or established usages of the 
church ? When and where has it been 
decreed that liberty of conscience, and 
civil liberty, are the birth-right of man 
that reading the Bible is the right of 
man and not a privilege to be conferred 
that private interpretation is the duty 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 169 

of man instead of implicit confidence in 
the exposition of others that persecu- 
tion for conscience sake is tyranny, and 
the deeds of the inquisition an abomina- 
tion in the sight of God. What one of 
her maxims, avowed centuries ago, has 
she expunged and does not rather en- 
force to the present hour at Rome and 
Vienna ? What are the powerful prin- 
ciples of collision which now agitate 
Europe and South America but those of 
civil liberty and despotic power 7 And 
on which side, when uncoerced, is his 
holiness, and his cardinals, and bishops, 
and priesthood ? Every where in Por- 
tugal, in Spain, in France, and in Italy, 
and South America, on the side of mo- 
narchical, and in opposition to liberal 
institutions. 

But we have documentary evidence 
which settles the questions. The fol- 
lowing is from a treatise by M. Aignan, 
of the French Academy, the second edi- 
15 



170 DR. BEECHER'S 

tkm of which was published at Paris in 
1818. 

" Passing to the 10th article of the 
Concordat, in which it is said that His 
Most Christian Majesty shall employ, 
in concert with the Holy Father, all the 
means in his power to cause to cease, as 
soon as possible, all the disorders and 
obstacles which obstruct the welfare of 
religion, and the execution of the laws 
of the church were [the Protestants] 
to ask, (although the profuse shedding 
of their blood might have informed 
them,) ' what are the laws of the 
church?' the acts of Pius VII. himself, 
and the writings on which the church 
rests her authority would answer, THE 

EXTERMINATION OF HERETICS, THE CONFIS- 
CATION OF THEIR GOODS, AND THEIR PRIVA- 
TION OF EVERY CIVIL PRIVILEGE." To 

this the author subjoins in a note : 
" Certain portions of real estate, which 
had belonged to ecclesiastics,had passed 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 171 

into the hands of Protestant princes. 
Pius VII. in 1805, complained of it to 
his nuncio residing at Vienna ; and re- 
minded him that, according to the laws 
of the church, not only could not heretics 
possess ecclesiastical property, but that 
also they could not possess any pro- 
perty whatever, since the crime of heresy 
ought to be punished by the confiscation 
of goods. He added, that the subjects 
of a prince, who is a heretic, should be 
released from every duty to him, freed 
from all obligation and all homage. 
c In truth,' said he, ' we have fallen on 
times so calamitous, and so humiliating 
to the spouse of Jesus Christ, that it is 
not possible for her to practise, nor ex- 
pedient to recall so holy maxims ; and 
she is forced to interrupt the course of 
her just severities against the enemies of 
the faith. But if she cannot exercise 
her right to depose the partisans of 
heresy from their principalities, and 



172 DR. BEECHER'S 

declare that they have forfeited all 
their goods ; can she ever permit that, 
to enrich themselves, they should de- 
spoil her of her own proper dominions 1 
What a subject of derision would she 
not present to these very heretics and 
unbelievers, who, while they insulted 
her grief, would say they had discovered 
the method of rendering her tolerant V 

" The same pontiff, in his instructions 
to his agents in Poland, given in 1808, 
professes this doctrine, that the laws of 
the church do not recognize any civil 
privileges as belonging to persons not 
Catholic; that their marriages are not 
valid ; that they can live only in concubi- 
nage ; that their children, being bastards, 
are incapacitated to inherit; that the 
Catholics themselves are not validly 
married, except they are united accord- 
ing to the rules prescribed by the court 
of Rome ; and that, when they are mar- 
ried according to these rules, their mar- 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 173 

riage is valid, had they, in other respects, 
infringed all the laws of their country"* 
The present pontiff declares that 
" From this polluted fountain of ' In- 
difference/ flows that absurd and erro- 
neous doctrine, or rather raving, in favor 
and defence of ' liberty of conscience ;' 
from which most pestilential error, the 
course is opened for that entire and 
wild liberty of opinion, which is every 
where attempting the overthrow of reli- 
gious and civil institutions ; and which 
the unblushing impudence of some has 
held forth as an advantage to religion. 
Hence, that pest, of all others most to be 
dreaded in a state, unbridled liberty of 
opinion, licentiousness of speech, and -a 
lust of novelty, which, according to the 
experience of all ages, portend the down- 
fall of the most powerful and flourishing 
empires." 

* Quarterly Register, vol. 3, page 89. 
15* 



174 DR. BEECHER'S 

" Hither tends that worst and never 
sufficiently to be execrated and detested 
LIBERTY OP THE PRESS, for the diffusion 
of all manner of writings, which some 
so loudly contend for, and so actively 
promote." 

He complains, too, of the dissemina- 
tion of unlicensed books. 

" No means must be here omitted," 
says Clement XIII., our predecessor of 
happy memory, in the Encyclical Let- 
ter on the proscription of bad books 
" no means must be here omitted, as the 
extremity of the case calls for all our 
exertions, to exterminate the fatal pest 
which spreads through so many works; 
nor can the materials of error be other- 
wise destroyed than by the flames, which 
consume the depraved elements of the 
evil." 

To the question, " What is to be 
done 1" I would say a few things to 
obviate misapprehension, and indicate 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 175 

what would seem to be the plain prac- 
tical course. 

In the first place, while the language 
of indiscriminate discourtesy towards 
immigrants, calculated to wound their 
feelings, and cast odium on respectable 
and industrious foreigners, is carefully 
to be avoided ; an immediate and ener- 
getic supervision of our government is 
demanded to check the influx of immi- 
grant paupers, thrown upon our shores 
by the governments of Europe, corrupt- 
ing our morals, quadrupling our taxa- 
tion, and endangering the peace of our 
cities, and of our nation. 

It is equally plain, also, that while 
we admit the population of Europe to 
a participation in the blessings of our 
institutions and ample territory, it is 
both our right and duty so to regulate 
the influx and the conditions of natu- 
ralization, that the increase shall not 
outrun the possibility of intellectual and 



176 DR. BEECHER'S 

moral culture, and the unregulated ac- 
tion of the European population bring 
down destruction on ourselves and 
them. In what manner the means of 
self-preservation shall be applied, it 
does not belong to my province to say. 
Doubtless a perfect remedy may be 
difficult, perhaps impossible ; but should 
we therefore look upon the appalling 
scene in pale amazement and trembling 
impotency ? It would be the consum- 
mation of infatuation, and the precursor 
of ruin. Nothing is impracticable for 
the preservation of our liberty and na- 
tional prosperity ivhich ought to be done, 
and nothing can ruin us but presump- 
tuous negligence or faintness of heart. 
But we must act, and act quickly, and 
with decision, or the stream will be too 
deep and mighty to be regulated, and 
will undermine foundations and sweep 
away landmarks, and roll the tide of 
desolation over us. Nor can the pa- 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 177 

triotic solicitude of the people, and the 
states, and the nation, be brought to 
bear on this subject, immediately, to 
the extent of our political wisdom and 
practical energy, and not mitigate the 
evil, and avert the danger. But our 
past utter neglect on this subject, is as 
wonderful as the carefulness of the 
nations of the continent. Not an indi- 
vidual from this country can traverse 
Europe without the inspection of a host 
of spies and police agents, who make 
his person, character, and business, as 
well known to the government as they 
are known to himself, and no small 
portion of this vigilance is for the pur- 
pose of precluding the, possibility of any 
political republican action, adverse to 
their institutions. While we, around 
the entire circumference of our nation, 
leave wide opened the door of entrance, 
and all the vital energies of our institu- 
tions, accessible to any influence which 



178 DR. BEECHER'S 

the anti-republican governments of Eu- 
rope may choose to thrust in upon us. 
Do these governments indulge a vain 
fear in thus environing the political in- 
fluence of Americans, though only tem- 
porary residents, and even wayfaring 
men? And have we nothing to appre- 
hend while European paupers flood us, 
and Europeans occupy the soil, rear 
institutions, wield the press, control 
suffrage, and rush up rapidly to a^com- 
petition of numbers ? Is our government 
so compact and iron-sinewed as to bid 
defiance, safely, to every possible dis- 
turbing influence from abroad, which 
can be made to bear upon it 7 Ought 
there not to be a governmental super- 
vision of the subject of immigration, 
which shall place before the nation, 
annually, the number and general cha- 
racter of immigrants, that the whole 
subject may experience the animadver- 
sion of an enlightened public sentiment, 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 179 

and the voice of the people aid in the 
application of the remedy? 

We entered upon the experiment of 
self-government, when a homogenous 
people, with diffidence, and multiplied 
checks, and balances in our constitution, 
and have watched and encountered, 
with decision and care, the dangers de- 
veloped in the progress of its adminis- 
tration ; but why should there be such 
vigilance to guard our institutions from 
domestic perils, and such reckless impro- 
vidence in exposing them, unwatched, 
to the most powerful adverse influence 
which can be brought to bear upon 
them from abroad? 

In respect to the Catholic religion, 
and its political bearings, there is an 
obvious and safe course. It is the me- 
dium between denunciation and impli- 
cit confidence, between persecution and 
indiscriminate charity. It includes a 
thorough knowledge of the principles, 



DR. BEECHER'S 

history, and present conduct of the 
papal church, where its power is unob- 
structed. To this end, a book is emi- 
nently needed, containing the authentic 

documents of the Catholic church, ac- 

* 

cessible to ministers and intelligent lay- 
men of all denominations. These now 
are scattered through massy folios, or 
quoted in versatile discussions, and 
cannot be readily appealed to or con- 
sulted. A book of well authenticated 
documents, without note or comment, 
would nearly supersede the necessity 
of controversy, and afford ample mate- 
rial for public sentiment to act upon, 
which, while it would not encroach 
on the rights of Catholics, would, by 
no means, confide to their care the 
education of large and influential por- 
tions of our republic. A book of this 
description would not be invidious. 
If the Catholic system does not con- 
tain principles and usages adverse to 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 181 

free institutions, it would clear it of un- 
merited odium ; and if it does contain 
such principles it is the right and duty 
of the nation to know it. There is 
nothing in Catholic more than in Pro- 
testant human nature, to demand im- 
plicit confidence, or preclude investiga- 
tion and vigilance. No denomination 
of Christians, and no class of politi- 
cians, are so good as to justify implicit 
confidence, or supersede the necessity 
of being watched. Responsibility to an 
enlightened public sentiment is the only 
effectual guarantee of unperverted lib- 
erty and political prosperity. 

But to a correct and universal obser- 
vation must be added efficient universal 
action, to rear up, immediately, those 
institutions, literary and religious, which 
are indispensable to the intellectual and 
moral culture of the nation. Our own 
population is fast outrunning the influ- 
ence of Christian and literary institu- 
16 



182 DR. BEECHER'S 

tions ; and if to us republicans it seems 
evil to supply them if it grieves us to 
encounter the expense of maintaining 
the discipline which is necessary to the 
perpetuity of government in our way, 
we have no cause to complain that the 
powers of Europe should extend to us 
a gratuitous education, which shall en- 
able them to avert the annoyance of our 
example, and govern us their way. If 
we do not provide the schools which 
are requisite for the cheap and effectual 
education of the children of the nation, 
it is perfectly certain that the Catholic 
powers of Europe intend to make up 
the deficiency, and there is no reason 
to doubt that they will do it, until by 
immigration and Catholic education we 
become to such an extent a Catholic 
nation, that, with their peculiar power 
of acting as one body, they will become 
the predominant power of the nation, 
or if not predominant, sufficient to em- 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 183 

barrass our republican movements, by 
the easy access and powerful action of 
foreign influence and intrigue. We 
have no right to complain that the Cath- 
olics of this country, aided from Europe, 
should seek to accomplish a work 
which we neglect, and we do not com- 
plain either of his holiness of Rome or 
of his majesty of Austria, or his wily 
minister Metternich. They pursue the 
policy in supplying our deficiency of ed- 
ucation, which, with their views of right 
and self-preservation, they ought to 
pursue, and the Catholics in this coun- 
try have a perfect right to gather funds 
from Europe to purchase lands rear ca- 
thedrals multiply churches and sus- 
tain immigrant ministers, and to sustain 
the unendowed bishoprics for fifty years 
to come, and establish nunneries, and 
support the sisterhood, and establish 
cheap and even gratuitous education 
amid all the destitute portions of our 



184 

land. They have a right to do it. and. 
according to their principles, they ought 
to do it, and they are doing it, and they 
will do it, unless as a nation of repub- 
licans, jealous of our liberties, and 
prompt to sustain them by a thorough 
intellectual and religious culture as 
.well as by the sword, we arise, all de- 
nominations and all political parties, 
to the work of national education. 

" The sole object of this argument 
touching the Catholics is not to repu- 
didate them, but to present the facts in 
the case, and appeal to the nation, 
whether it will sustain its own institu- 
tions for the education of its own peo- 
ple, or depend on the charity of the 
Catholic despotic governments of Eu- 
rope. I do it because when the facts 
are stated, and the eye of the nation is 
fixed on the subject, unless infatuation 
has fastened on us, there can be no 
doubt of the result. Education, intel- 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 185 

lectual and religious, is the point on 
which turns our destiny, of terrestrial 
glory and power, or of shame and ever- 
lasting contempt, and short is the period 
of our probation. Indolence and neglect 
will soon extend over the land the la- 
mentation, " The harvest is past, the 
summer is ended, and we are not saved." 
The things which belong to our peace 
are now before our eyes, and our suf- 
ficiency to secure them is vast and man- 
ifold. As a nation we are disincum- 
bered of debt, and from our perilous 
resources might at once make provi- 
sions to endow forever the colleges, 
academies, and schools of the land. 
Each state, alone, is able to endow its 
own institutions, and were all legisla- 
tive provision withheld, there are in the 
nation individuals of sufficient wealth 
and patriotism, and munificence, when 
they perceive the perils and the safe- 
guards of our liberty, to call into being 
16* 



186 



DR. BEECHER S 



all those orbs of light which are indis- 
pensable to the safety and perpetuity 
of our institutions. And were even 
those unmindful of their privilege and 
duty, a republican phalanx, such as 
once fought the battles and paid the 
taxes of the revolutionary war, would 
now command institutions for the de- 
fence of liberty to arise, as their fathers 
did the forts and munitions of their 
day. Every denomination would or- 
ganize its willing multitude to give and 
toil till intelligence and holiness should 
cover the land as the waters cover the 
sea. But this various and superabun- 
dant ability and willingness of the na- 
tion must be called forth in plans of 
peaceable efficacy the means must be 
multiplied of providing and sustaining 
the requisite host of qualified instruc- 
tors. Institutions, male and female, 
must be endowed to secure cheaply, the 
requisite qualification. The national 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 187 

intellect and morals, will never rise to 
the exigencies of our preservation, ac- 
cidentally, or spring up under the hand 
of ephemeral and inexperienced instruc- 
tors. The early culture of the national 
intellect, and heart, is worthy of becom- 
ing' a profession, and must become a 
profession, in the hands of duly quali- 
fied men and women embracing the 
experience of the past, and the accu- 
mulating knowledge of coming gener- 
ations. The education of the nation 
the culture of its intellect the forma- 
tion of its conscience, and the regula- 
tion of its affection, heart, and action, 
is of all others the most important 
work, and demands the supervision of 
persons, of wise and understanding 
hearts consecrated to the work, and 
supported and highly honored in ac- 
cordance with their self-denying, disin- 
terested, and indispensable labors. It 
is here that we faulter, and that the 



188 DR. BEECHER'S 

Catholic powers are determined to take 
advantage of our halting by thrusting 
in professional instructors and under- 
bidding us in the cheapness of education 
calculating that for a morsel of meat 
we shall sell our birth-right. Ameri- 
cans, republicans, Christians, can you, 
will you, for a moment, permit your free 
institutions, blood bought, to be placed 
in jeopardy, for want of the requisite 
intellectual and moral culture. 

One thing more only demands at- 
tention, and that is the extension of 
such intellectual culture, and evangeli- 
cal light to the Catholic population, as 
will supercede implicit confidence, and 
enable and incline them to read, and 
think, and act for themselves. They 
are not to be regarded as conspirators 
against our liberties, their system com- 
mits its designs and higher movements, 
like the control of an army, to a few 
governing minds, while the body of the 



PLEA FOR THE WEST. 189 

people may be occupied in their execu- 
tion, unconscious of their tendency. I 
am aware of the difficulty of access, 
but kindness and perseverance can ac- 
complish any thing, and wherever the 
urgency of the necessity shall put in re- 
quisition the benevolent energy of this 
Christian nation the work under the 
auspices of heaven will be done. 

It is a cheering fact, also, that the 
nation is waking up a blind and in- 
discriminate charity is giving place to 
sober observation, and a Christian feel- 
ing and language towards Catholics is 
taking the place of that which was 
petulant, and exceptionable. There is 
rapidly extending a just estimate of 
danger. Multitudes who till recently 
regarded all notices of alarm as without 
foundation, are now beginning to view 
the subject correctly, both in respect to 
the reality of the danger, and the means 
which are necessary to avert it. and 



190 PLEA FOR THE WEST. 

both the religious and the political pa- 
pers are beginning to lay aside the 
language of asperity and to speak the 
words of truth and soberness. Under 
such auspices we commit the subject to 
the guardianship of heaven, and the 
intelligent instrumentality of our be- 
loved country. 



X <